COUNCIL workers' unions last week reaffirmed their determination to fight for higher London weighting allowances for the capital's council workforces. Unless the employers come up with a satisfactory offer another one-day strike could be called later in September.
A joint meeting of representatives of the three council workers unions - Unison, the GMB and the TGWU - took place on Wednesday of last week. The meeting decided that the employers must come up with an offer by 12 September. If there is no 'positive' offer by then the unions are planning a one-day strike followed by a programme of rolling action.
Council workers in London have already taken four days of strike action in support of their claim for £4,000 London weighting allowance. At present the allowance is between £1,407 and £2,646 a year, varying from inner to outer London.
The threat of more strikes in London comes as council workers across England, Wales and Northern Ireland are still being consulted on the employers' offer in the national pay dispute. Unison branches are holding ballots over this, while the GMB is holding a national ballot.
The offer is a small improvement from the employers' original 3 percent. But it leaves most workers getting just 3.5 percent, and falls far short of the unions' claim.
BRIAN BUTTERWORTH, branch secretary Brent Unison (personal capacity)
A ONE-day strike by social workers in Leeds was set to take place on Wednesday this week. The 300 workers voted to take action over regrading. They then voted to strike in response to threats from management.
COUNCIL WORKERS in London's Westminster are set to escalate their fight against privatisation after rebuffing the Tory authority's attempt to intimidate them into ending their strike. Over 100 people from various sections are still on strike.
Last week the council sent a letter to the workers' Unison union threatening possible legal action unless they called off the action. This was bluster, as even under the Tory and New Labour anti-union laws the strike is perfectly legal. Quite rightly the union told it council where to get off.
Next week workers in the building controls department are due to join the action. Stepping up the strikes and winning solidarity are the keys to winning. The council wants to privatise up to 80 percent of services. If it gets away with this it will set a blueprint for other councils.
Westminster strikers have begun sending people out to other council workers to win solidarity, with delegations planned to Scotland, Oxford, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle, as well as London.