Over 400 Southampton City Council Unison union members met and demonstrated against cuts on Wednesday.
Workers packed into a meeting at lunchtime to agree a response to the Tory council’s proposals to sack 250 workers and cut wages.
The room was overflowing as the meeting unanimously agreed a resolution which gave a wide-ranging response to the Conservative Council’s proposals.
The motion agreed to defend council services and fight cuts in services and redundancies.
At the end of the meeting there was a spontaneous march to the civic centre to demonstrate against the budget cuts. Conservative leader of the council Royston Smith watched the demonstration from a first floor window. He was greeted with the chant, “Why don’t you go and work at Costco”. This was a reference to his statement last week that redundant council workers could find work at the new cash and carry superstore opening in Southampton next year.
Council workers also demonstrated outside the offices of the new Chief Executive, Alistair Neill, with chants of, “You say cut back, we say fight back”.
Mike Tucker, Unison branch secretary, commented, “The turnout at today’s meeting demonstrates the growing anger at the Conservative Council’s budget plans. The people of Southampton should not have to pay for the mistakes of the bankers. Council workers are determined to defend local services and ensure that the vulnerable do not pay for the bankers crisis”.