Socialist Worker

London weighting

Issue No. 1862

STRIKE ACTION by different groups of workers in London councils continued this week. The battle is over a demand for £4,000 London weighting. Unison announced this week that it is extending future actions wider than the original boroughs targeted.

Bromley, Ealing, Enfield, Barking and Dagenham, Hillingdon, Lambeth and Westminster are now in the frame. Two of those involved report on the dispute.


Tower Hamlets

IN ONE of the sections on strike, the Homelessness Accommodation Team, there is one scab who has been working from the beginning of the dispute. Repairs inspectors on Tuesday of last week contacted the Unison office for advice because they were unhappy about taking work from this scab.

As a result, over 20 inspectors, who are in Unison, the GMB, the TGWU and non-union, met with Unison branch officials. They voted unanimously to black work from the scab. They also said if management give any aggravation about this they would give them seven days notice that they would join the strike.

We have been determined to keep up a high level of activity during this dispute. Last week in three days we went round all other main council buildings which are not involved in the action, and got over 900 signatures on an open letter to the leader of council.

The letter asked why the council could find the money to pay scabs £100 a week extra but the money isn't there to resolve the dispute. The strikers were due to present that letter on Monday.
Alison Philcock, striker in Tower Hamlets housing benefits


Hammersmith

HAMMERSMITH Unison has had an enthusiastic response to the strike action over London weighting, with over 100 pickets each day. Management has tried to intimidate the strikers with threats of police on the picket line, hiring extra security guards and trying to erect steel barriers around the pickets.

In an attempt to get the council's switchboard running extra temps were brought in. But after a phone call from the union the agency withdrew their workers. Strikers have leafleted other council buildings and encouraged other sections to join the action. In June our housing section held a meeting attended by 200 Unison members to discuss our response to Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) on housing estates.

The meeting voted overwhelmingly to oppose the ALMOs and to work with tenants against them. At our strike meeting we resolved to spend the last week of our four-week strike leafleting local estates explaining why tenants should vote no to the ALMO in November.
Bruce George, striker in Hammersmith


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News
Sat 26 Jul 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1862
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