Wide screen devices may view this page better by clicking here

2 June 2010

Facebook   Twitter

Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Fighting council cuts: Planning for united strikes in Kirklees

LOCAL GOVERNMENT jobs and services are under attack. Local councils will have 2 billion less in grants from central government after the first 6 billion Con-Dem government cutbacks. The threat is angering workers and service users.

Mike Forster and Jackie Grunsell

In Kirklees in Yorkshire, cuts announced months ago are already biting. Long before the Tories took office nationally, this Labour council, in coalition with the Lib Dems, voted through a 400 million cuts budget, potentially resulting in the loss of 2,000 jobs.

The council's attempts to encourage staff to leave through early retirement or voluntary redundancy failed to reach their 'target' so last week they served the unions with notice of compulsory redundancies, initially suggesting 140 jobs to go. They also want more volunteers to reach their target of 1,100 job losses within two years. Workers understand that more compulsory redundancies will follow.

The council has declared war on its own workforce. They are also about to impose pay cuts on around 1,200 staff through the single status deal. These are staff whose pay went down after a regrading exercise, but were reassured their pay would be protected. The council then withdrew that commitment last year and only offered a year's protection, which runs out this month.

Hit with a double whammy, council workers voted in favour of taking strike action and demanded that Unison organises a formal ballot. However, feelings hardened in recent weeks and a mass meeting of stewards endorsed a programme of strikes in the event of a 'yes' vote, starting with a five day strike, followed by all out action to push the council back.

Organising action

Sensing war is in the air, the first post-election meeting of our local Save Our Services (SOS) group was packed out. Leading stewards and branch officials from Unite, NUT and Unison painted a grim picture of cuts already imposed but the need for a determined fightback dominated the meeting.

A day of action was organised for 11 June, then a mass public rally on 21 June coinciding with the government's budget week. This should galvanise public support for united strike action over the summer.

Our only choice now is to fight. At a strike meeting, one Unison member said she hated striking, but it had to be done, and argued for an extension of strike days to hit the council hard. "It's better to lose a lot of pay and win than lose a bit of pay and lose. If we have to, we have to stay on strike for as long as it takes."

A strike committee is being formed. This will have to ensure that clear and determined battle lines are drawn up to defeat these cuts.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.

We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to click here to donate to our Fighting Fund.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 2 June 2010:

Stop Israeli state terror!


British Airways cabin crew strike

British Airways strike: Full support for the cabin crew


Environment and socialism

Oil spill is 'worst environmental disaster' to hit US


Socialist Party news and analysis

No to privatised academies: Defend public education

Millionaire cabinet plans cuts in benefits

One Law for the rich...

Them and us!

Interview with sacked Telegen workers

Youth Fight for Jobs: More trade unions add their support


Anti-racism

Cardiff says 'no' to the racist EDL


Housing crisis

Gateshead tenants demand decent homes


Socialist Party LGBT

Socialists campaign for Pride not profit in Birmingham


Marxist analysis: history

Margaret Thatcher: Why workers cannot forget


Scotland

Minority representation in Scotland for Westminster coalition of cuts

Socialist Party Scotland to be launched


Socialist Party workplace news

Fighting council cuts: Planning for united strikes in Kirklees

PCS conference Defend the public sector

Coventry - time for mass action

Will the councils fight the cuts?

University and Colleges Union: Congress votes to fight

UCU young members' conference

NSSN conference 2010


International socialist news and analysis

Jamaican armed forces surround and storm poor neighbourhood

Workers' suicides: The human cost of an iPad

Socialism Today


 

Home   |   The Socialist 2 June 2010   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Kirklees:

triangleKirklees: Labour and Green councillors refuse to fight the cuts

triangleKirklees bin workers' strike forces management back

triangleSummer of discontent on the cards in Huddersfield bin workers' dispute

triangleBin workers take strike action after talks with Kirklees council collapse

triangleUnison ballots workers at Yorkshire hospitals at risk of privatisation

Planning:

triangleSave Our Square from New Labour gentrification

triangleWaltham Forest Save Our Square:

triangleCovid and the third sector: for public planning, not charity stopgaps

triangleTory planning deregulation: a charter for building profitable slums

Council:

triangleTories admit guilt for asylum seeker neglect

triangleSave John Carroll Leisure Centre

triangleLiverpool Unite branch supports 'no cuts' budget strategy

Strike:

triangleHow militant trade unionism defeated the 1971 Industrial Relations Act

triangleGMB members continue fight against 'fire and rehire' in British Gas

Pay:

triangleLondon bus dispute against low pay, pay cuts and longer hours

Unison:

triangleUnison NEC elections: United left challenge needed to fight slaughter of jobs and services

Jobs:

triangleWhere's the road map to jobs and wages Boris?

Cuts:

triangleTories tout toilet tensions

Article dated 2 June 2010

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

MEMBER RESOURCES

Pay in Fighting Fund

Pay in paper and book sales

Leaflets

Bulk book orders

New member submission

WHAT'S ON

triangle25 Feb West London Socialist Party: Aids, section 28 and equal marriage - lessons for the fight for LGBTQ+ rights today

triangle25 Feb Bradford Socialist Party: Farmers revolt in India

triangle25 Feb Cardiff East Socialist Party: Struggle in Myanmar

More...


The Socialist, weekly newspaper of the Socialist Party

Covid

What we think

News

Lessons from history

Workplace news

TUSC

Campaigns news

LGBT+ history month

International news

Readers' opinion

Subscribespacer|spacerebook / Kindlespacer|spacerPDF versionspacer|spacerText / Printspacer|spacer1122 onlinespacer|spacerBack issuesspacer|spacer Audio files


Leicester picket on the 21st strike day (22nd Feb) of around 7,000 British Gas engineers.  They are fighting against

Leicester picket on the 21st strike day (22nd Feb) of around 7,000 British Gas engineers. They are fighting against 'fire and rehire' - designed to worsen terms and conditions. Photo by Steve Score, Leicester Socialist Party

What We Stand For
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Platform setting: =

Desktop version