Socialist Worker

Barnet council workers not deterred by lockout

Issue No. 2269

Locked out workers march through Barnet

Locked out workers march through Barnet (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Workers at Barnet council in north London were locked out by bosses as they struck on Tuesday of this week.

The 400 Unison members had only called a strike for a half-day, in the afternoon, as part of their long-running fight against “easyCouncil” privatisation.

But they were met in the morning by bosses who told everyone planning to strike later that day to leave the building.

Branch chair Helen Davies told Socialist Worker, “People are really angry about it.

“Some say management are displaying arrogance—others think it’s desperation.”

The workers protested at the gates before taking to the streets to give out leaflets and newsletters putting their case to the public.

“The mood out there was buoyant,” added Helen. “People feel like there’s a point to what we’re doing.”

Bosses are deducting a full day’s pay from the strikers, but the union branch has pledged to pay the difference.

The Unison members on strike are spread across a range of departments that are the first up for outsourcing.

The Tories want to hollow out the council, sacking thousands and buying in all services from outside.

Many workers have been picketing at weekends after the council tried to use agency workers to clear a backlog left by their work-to-rule.

The workers were rallying at Hendon town hall as Socialist Worker went to press.

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