Around 100 members of the Unison and Unite unions protested against job and pay cuts outside Rochdale Town Hall on Thursday of last week.
Instead of negotiating with the unions, the council there intends to conduct a staff-wide referendum.
Colin Lambert, leader of the Labour-run council, promised if there was a “no” vote he would find other ways of making the savings.
This was not well received.
Many people made the point that if the proposals were flawed they should be scrapped—rather than go through the farce and cost of a referendum.
Kevin Lucas, regional organiser for Unison, described the referendum as “extremely inflammatory”.