Socialist Worker

Council workers industrial action threat forces concessions

by Gerry McCabe Aberdeen Unison, service conditions officer (personal capacity)
Issue No. 1967

A preparedness to take industrial action has won a significant victory for council workers in Aberdeen.

Over 2,000 workers in Aberdeen City Council recently packed into the biggest mass meeting anyone could remember following the announcement by letter of devastating cuts to pay and conditions.

The attack is the result of the way the council is implementing the “single status” agreement, which is meant to harmonise pay and conditions between manual and white collar workers.

The mood at the meeting, called by the Unison, T&G and GMB unions, was angry and upbeat. Speaker after speaker denounced the package.

This came from those who would benefit as well as those who would lose out.

At the end of the meeting a resolution was unanimously adopted which called on the council to withdraw the letters within five days and apologise to the workforce, or face the threat of industrial action.

By Thursday afternoon last week the council conceded. At a hastily reconvened mass meeting attended by over 1,000 workers there was clear acknowledgement the members had won a victory.

It was also recognised that this was only stage one of the process and that, while we had won a battle, the threat of wage cuts through single status has not disappeared.

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Article information

Sat 10 Sep 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1967
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