NEWHAM COUNCIL has been forced to back off again over its attacks on the Unison union. Workers have been fighting against council bosses' attempts to derecognise Unison. The New Labour-run council evicted the union from its offices, banned us from putting out our own publicity materials and stopped union officers having any facility time.
After we took four days of strike action, the council was forced to back down. Our right to produce campaigning materials was restored and union officers had their facility time reinstated.
Shop stewards and activists accepted the deal after a long debate at a mass meeting. Then we heard the council was planning to force our union to apologise for going on strike, when it was it which attacked our rights to have a union. It was desperate to save face so it could claim a victory over us. It had told all council workers it would smash us, that it wouldn't even consider reinstating our facility time for at least six months.
We refused to back down, and the council blinked first. The latest news is it has had to back down over this ludicrous demand and we have won our fight through the determination of rank and file union members.