By Raymie Kiernan
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Care workers kick off Bromley council strikes

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Issue 2469
Bromley Workers are battling privatisation
Bromley Workers are battling privatisation

Council workers in Bromley, south London, launched a new wave of strikes against Tory mass privatisation plans last week.

Adult services care workers struck against plans to outsource the service to private firm Certitude at the beginning of October.

Astley day centre worker and Unite union rep Alan Brown told Socialist Worker, “We provide a crucial day service for people with physical and mental impairments. 

“We have to fight tooth and nail against this.”

The service includes games, arts, cookery and organising trips away. 

Workers fear privatisation will drastically cut the service. 

Alan said, “If they take this service away then some people will end up with nothing and be stuck sitting indoors.”

He added, “Certitude has concealed its true intentions throughout this whole process.

“We know there are positions now being advertised through an agency but paying £9,000 a year less.”

The Bromley Tories are emulating their counterparts at other councils in England and shifting the focus towards commissioning rather than providing services.

As well farming out services, often to the cheapest bidder, attacking trade union organisation has been an essential part of the commissioning model. It is also about propaganda. 

At Bromley official reports have been produced creating the false impression that staff favour privatisation. 

Consultations of residents that show opposition to privatisation have been ignored.

Bromley resident and Disabled People Against Cuts activist Paula told Socialist Worker, “This affects us all. They want to create a 

two-tier system where only those who can afford it can get access to decent services.

“There won’t be a welfare state left if we don’t oppose them—it will devastate people’s lives.”

Workers in libraries began a five-day strike on Tuesday of this week.

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