Socialist Worker

Ballot means council fightback is on the move

Issue No. 2249

Some 2,500 workers at Lincolnshire council are to be balloted for strikes over job cuts—with all three council workers’ unions set to fight together.

Unison’s ballot started last week, while the GMB’s ballot began on Tuesday of this week.

They have lodged a joint dispute alongside the Unite union, which also says it intends to ballot.

The workers are fighting 1,000 job cuts at the council, which is the largest employer in Lincolnshire. There are also attacks on conditions.

“We’re opposed to any cuts,” said Unison rep Richard Banks. “The con that is being played is that cuts are necessary, which is just not true.”

Adult social care workers at the council have been on a work-to-rule since 16 March.

Colin Todd of the GMB said that the ballot was about “essential services being pared to the bone or stopped altogether”.

And Unite’s Luke Primarolo added that union members were concerned not only for their jobs, but also “the negative effect that the cuts are starting to have on the communities that they serve”.

The ballots will close in mid-May. Action could begin a week afterwards.

The Lincolnshire workers are the latest group to join a growing wave of council fightbacks against cuts.

Council workers across Nottinghamshire struck in February, anpd last month Unison members struck together with teachers in Tower Hamlets, east London.

Meanwhile, workers at Southampton council were also continuing their ballot for strikes this week.

The ballot closes on Friday of next week.

The Unison union members are fighting 5 percent pay cuts and other attacks.

The Tory council has issued dismissal notices to every worker. It plans to sack them unless they sign up to the cuts.

If the union members vote yes in the ballot, a one-day strike is planned in the week of 16 May.

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Tue 26 Apr 2011, 17:53 BST
Issue No. 2249
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