AROUND 1,000 workers employed by local councils in London were striking for three days this week from Tuesday to Thursday. The action is part of council staff's ongoing fight to win an increase on the London weighting allowance - the money they get for working in the capital.
This week's action involves the same groups of workers that took action a fortnight ago, and is concentrated among low paid staff in schools. Council workers are demanding a modest increase in London weighting to £4,000 - still less than the £6,000 the police get. Many workers want the action to be linked to other groups fighting over the same issue in London such as teachers, postal workers, university staff and firefighters.
The regional council of Unison has agreed to extend and expand the dispute, and more action is already planned to start on 9 June. It has also agreed to push for united and coordinated action with other public sector workers.
Rahul Patel, assistant branch secretary of Westminster Unison and a member of the regional council, said, 'As well as our own action, people know that in order to quickly win this dispute the most effective step would be to link up with other groups already involved in fighting over the same issue and build unity.'
REFUSE workers, TGWU union members working for private contractor Cleanway in east London's Tower Hamlets council, also struck this week over their demand for £4,000 London weighting. Their employer tried to undermine action by using scabs supplied by the Team Support, Que and Plan Personnel agencies, but over 100 pickets were determined to win the fight for decent pay.