Socialist Worker

Council workers strike in Doncaster

by Patrick Ward
Issue No. 2270

Council workers in Doncaster in the Unison union struck today (Wednesday) against plans to sack 1,000 workers and cut the pay of others.

The strikers were angry at being ordered to pay the price for a crisis they had no part in creating.

Rob, a mental health social worker, told Socialist Worker that the Tories think public services are an 'easy target'.

'People think we have a cushy life in the public sector, but we don't.

'We've not had a pay rise for three years, and now we're being told to take a 5 percent pay cut,' he said.

He explained that the social workers' mileage allowance had been cut, even though it was needed to visit people.

'And there's no regard for the people we work with, people with illnesses who need us,' he added.

'This is an ideological attack. The Tories have wanted this for years and now they have the opportunity.'

At the strike rally outside the council building, Unison branch secretary Jim Board addressed the crowd.

'The level of support today was positive,' he said. 'This is a good springboard for the strikes on 30 November.

'It's our job to fight so hard that we embarrass the Greeks and the French!'

The strike was called at relatively short notice, with just ten days preparation.

But the strikers still received solidarity from passing cars, and some Unite union members refused to cross picket lines. One bin man refused to cross.

One social worker told Socialist Worker, 'I object that I'm being told my hours have to go down to 30 hours a week, but are now spread over six days.

'On my picket line only one non-Unison member crossed. Even the bin man was turned away. Last time around 30 crossed.'

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Article information

Wed 21 Sep 2011, 17:08 BST
Issue No. 2270
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