Socialist Worker

Council workers

Issue No. 1841

SCHOOLS AND libraries in parts of London faced possible closure this week because of a strike by council workers in a long-running dispute over pay. Caretakers and other support staff at 70 schools in the capital walked out on Monday for a week as part of a union campaign for the London weighting allowance to be raised to £4,000.

A total of 17 London boroughs will be hit by the strike, the seventh stoppage since the dispute started 18 months ago. There have already been several London-wide one-day strikes involving over 50,000 local government workers.

The workers striking this week are in the Unison union. 'The cost of living in London continues to soar so it's not surprising that many jobs go unfilled,' said Julia Coleman, a regional Unison official.

'If councils want to provide decent services they need to provide decent wages.' This week's action shows there is still the stomach for a fight over London weighting among council workers. But much more action will be needed to win.

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Sat 8 Mar 2003, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 1841
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