Socialist Worker

Protest forces a climbdown

by PETE THORPE
Issue No. 1801

NOTTINGHAM council's plans for privatisation were knocked back last week after workers held protests and threatened strike action. Some 500 council workers joined a lobby of the ruling Labour group on Wednesday of last week over privatisation.

The council had claimed it needed £27 million to meet the government's target for electronic access to the county council by 2005. This is known as 'e-government'. Yet their own figures show that they only need to spend £3.7 million to meet this target.

The rest of the £27 million appeared to be a wish list for computers throughout the county. The inflated figure meant that the council wanted to look for a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) and sell off our jobs. But pressure from the GMB and Unison unions and staff has forced the council to look for other alternatives as well as PPP.

Unison members who were likely to be affected by PPP voted by 90 percent for industrial action if the privatisation went ahead. Council leader Mick Warner had tried to persuade everyone on the 500-strong lobby that PPP was the best option.

He didn't convince the workers or even the rest of the Labour group, who voted down PPP in favour of in-house provision of services.


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Article information

News
Sat 25 May 2002, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1801
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