Socialist Worker

Fighting Labour library cuts in Bradford

Issue No. 2673

Meeting in Bradford to save libraries

Meeting in Bradford to save libraries (Pic: Neil Terry)

Over 160 people joined an angry meeting in Keighley Civic Centre in Bradford, West Yorkshire, to stop the cuts to libraries and museums.

The Unite union, which organised the meeting, is balloting 50 workers over the Labour-run council’s plans to push through nearly £2 million of cuts by 2021.

Workers at the 14 sites face £950,000 of cuts this year—and £1 million from April of next year.

John Giles, a Unite rep and library worker, told the meeting, “This is an act of cultural vandalism and there are no cuts which will not damage the service.

“These cuts will no doubt lead to closures.”

Residents joined the meeting, with one saying, “I was born in Bradford and this is our heritage.”

Another added, “Parents are worried that their children will have nowhere to study.”

The strike ballot was due to end on Friday this week.

Bromley ‘bandit capitalism’

Bromley library workers have vowed to step up the fight after bosses revealed plans to slash 35 percent of frontline jobs in the south east London borough.

Subcontractor Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) made the announcement at a meeting with the Unite union on Thursday of last week.

It was the first time bosses and unions had met since library workers began an indefinite strike on 6 June.

They walked out after bosses failed to fill vacancies, fearing bosses were planning a restructure and job losses.

GLL’s plan would see frontline posts slashed from 85 to 55 and a further ten to 15 back office roles cut.

Gail Cartmail, Unite assistant general secretary, said, “Bandit capitalism is undermining the entire ethos of local authorities with profits put before services.”

Greenwich council in south east London set up GLL as a not-for-profit private company in 1993.

It has grown into a sports and leisure giant that has swallowed up council services across the capital.

Managing director Mark Sesnan is paid well over £200,000 a year.

Trade unionists and campaigners should raise money for the strikers. Local government unions should look for opportunities to hold strike ballots of workers employed by GLL elsewhere.

Donate to the strike fund—account name Bromley Unite LE/531, account number 20272821, sort code 60-83-01

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