Socialist Worker

Council workers

by RICHARD SEARLE, joint Unison housing convenor (personal capacity)
Issue No. 1868

MANUAL WORKERS in the GMB union working for Manchester city Council struck for a day on Monday against the imposition of the Single Status agreement. They voted three to one to strike in an official ballot. Many other council workers in other departments refused to cross their picket lines.

Considering that most workers only found out about the strike at the end of last week, it was a magnificent show of solidarity, organised at a rank and file level. The GMB members who were balloted have been offered new contracts that means that some will lose up to £5,000 per year. The deal will also see the imposition of rotas with the working day running from 6am to 10pm, and weekend working with no overtime.

Although the other council unions, Unison and the TGWU, have voted to accept the Single Status agreement, many who voted to accept would not have been fully aware of its consequences. Developing the strength and unity of rank and file organisation across the different depots and other offices and sections will be key to resisting the attacks in the next few months.

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Sat 13 Sep 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1868
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