Socialist Worker

Councils

Issue No. 1871

CRECHE WORKERS in Gloucester lobbied the council cabinet meeting on Thursday of last week to protest against the council's plans to close their creche. Six months ago the council opened a creche as part of a new leisure centre. The creche originally had six workers but one left to get another job.

Instead of replacing the worker, the council decided to close the creche. The council has promised to redeploy them, but there are no childcare jobs in the city. The remaining five workers have all joined the union and have pledged to fight to retain their jobs.
PHIL JONES


Hackney

HACKNEY'S Labour council has sent letters to over 200 refuse workers and street cleaners telling them they will be sacked on the 23 December if they do not accept cuts in pay and conditions.

The cuts could cost some workers up to £60 a week. The GMB, Unison and TGWU unions that represent the workers are balloting their members throughout October for strike action. The unions were set to meet the council in the east London borough on Wednesday of this week.

The council was forced to take the refuse contract back in-house last year after a disastrous privatisation involving ServiceTeam. Paul Fawcett, the TGWU regional industrial officer, said, 'The council are spending millions of pounds on consultants and have wasted similar amounts on contractors who walked away with the council taxpayers' money.'


TENANTS AND residents from the Woodberry Down estate demonstrated last week on the steps of Hackney town hall in east London.

A plan for the regeneration of the estate had been worked out over a two year period involving estate residents and the Estate Development Committee. One key aspect was to redevelop an old school site into a social housing development.

The council, without consultation, has now put the site up for sale. Tenants are worried that the new development will exclude them from living on the estate in the future. Existing homes are planned to be demolished. Tenants are intent on fighting.
MICK BERRY

Send messages of support to Estate Development Committee, Robin Redmond Centre, Woodberry Down estate, London N16.


Lanarkshire

CLEANERS WORKING for Lanarkshire council in Scotland are planning to ballot for strike action following an attack on their conditions. The GMB union agreed to the ballot following a series of mass meetings. The council had threatened to sack workers and re-employ them on new terms. This would lead to them working longer hours for lower pay.


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News
Sat 4 Oct 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1871
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