Socialist Worker

Council workers hit back in Norwich, Thurrock and Ealing

Issue No. 2755

Norwich workers are ready for a united fight

Norwich workers are ready for a united fight (Pic: James Rodie, Unison)


Workers are hitting back in three councils. Strikes by around 170 environmental workers in Norwich are set for next week.

The workers were transferred from Norse—owned by Norfolk County Council—to NCSL, which is a new company set up by Norwich City Council.

Another 230 workers are to be transferred later.

During talks lasting two years, the workforce was promised harmonisation with existing city council workers.

Now they are being offered a derisory 20p an hour more, which does little more than track the revised Real Living Wage from 1 April.

Strikes

Unite union members voted 83 percent for strikes on a 90 percent turnout. Unison union members recorded a similarly strong vote.

The first strikes are set for 26 May to 2 June.

The People Before Profit group has been on the streets leafleting for support and ­collecting donations.

The workers have called a solidarity march on Monday 24 May, assembling outside St Andrew’s Hall in Norwich at 1.30pm. The march will commence at 2.30pm.

Messages of support to [email protected] and [email protected]

Peter Waters


THURROCK—Thurrock council workers in Essex are continuing their battle to defend pay.

Workers in the waste and recycling department have been striking since 13 April.

Last Thursday the Unite union told the council the strike will continue until 18 June.

The proposed cuts will see frontline workers lose between £1,200 and £3,800 a year.

Unite regional officer Michelle Cook said, “It’s an absolute disgrace that Thurrock Council is trying to slash thousands of pounds from essential workers’ pay in the middle of a health crisis.

“Thurrock Council can end this strike if it chooses. Instead, it’s spending thousands of pounds on external contractors while rubbish piles up.”

Donations to the strike fund to sort code 60-83-01, account 20216557, name: Unite 1/1152. Messages of solidarity to [email protected]

EALING—Ealing Civil Enforcement Officers in west London are into a second week of nine days of planned strikes.

Unite union regional officer Clare Keogh said, “Serco has attempted to undermine collective ­bargaining through the targeting of individual staff and the misuse of the absence policy.”

Workers voted 97 ­percent for strikes. A Unite rep said, “Serco are trying to use the sickness policy to sack people. It’s cheaper and easier for them. We want a review of the sickness policy.

“Management tried to weaken the union by bribing some of us to leave, but we are sticking together—­striking together.

“We want the council to take the service back in house so Serco’s profits can be put back into the community.”

Graham Hodgin


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