Socialist Worker

Ballots spring up against the cuts

by Tom Walker
Issue No. 2239

Workers at Nottinghamshire council were expected to announce a vote for strikes as Socialist Worker went to press.

The Unison union members plan to quickly call their first day of strikes for Thursday 24 February—the day the council votes on its cuts budget.

The union has called a huge march and rally at County Hall for the day.

Tory council leader Kay Cutts—such a hardcore Thatcherite that she has a portrait of Margaret Thatcher hanging over her desk—is making some of the biggest job cuts anywhere in Britain.

Some 2,500 jobs are set to go at the council—around one in six of the workforce. So far there are 1,000 compulsory redundancies.

Cutts plans to slash libraries, close 25 adult care centres, sell off elderly persons’ homes and raise residents fees £800 a month.

Yet the council is still spending millions on fat cat consultants.

Local campaigners have already held a lobby of 1,000 people against the cuts, and Unison has held a record number of workplace meetings throughout Nottinghamshire.

This has the potential to be a key moment in the battle to save the 162,000 council jobs that are under threat nationally.

It comes as tens of thousands of council workers in London’s Tower Hamlets and Doncaster in South Yorkshire prepare for their own strike ballots to begin soon.

And on Thursday, Unison in Barnet, north London, will announce the result of key workers’ vote on strikes to stop mass privatisation there.

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Tue 15 Feb 2011, 18:48 GMT
Issue No. 2239
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