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From: The Socialist issue 943, 5 April 2017: Resist cruel NHS cuts

Search site for keywords: Bromley - Workers - Strike - Privatisation - Library - Unite - London - Libraries - Trade unions - Greenwich - Carillion - Onay Kasab

Bromley library workers strike against privatisation

Striking Bromley library workers and supporters protesting against privatisation, 1.4.17, photo by Socialist Party

Striking Bromley library workers and supporters protesting against privatisation, 1.4.17, photo by Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

A Unite member

Unite union members working in Bromley libraries began the first of eight days of strike action on 1 April. The long-running dispute is in defence of the library service from privatisation.

The campaign has already seen off the privateers from Carillion and a proposal to replace permanent staff with volunteers. Now Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) is thought to be the last realistic bidder for the contract - although the council ludicrously claims that commercial confidentiality means that they cannot disclose the remaining bidders!

GLL claims to be a 'social enterprise' yet acts like the worst of private companies, employing three-quarters of staff on zero-hour contracts and refusing to pay the London Living Wage to many of its own leisure-based staff.

Yet Lord John Bird - founder of the Big Issue - claims that GLL is the saviour of libraries! Lord Bird attended the libraries and culture march in London last November, demanding to speak at the event as a very important campaigner!

There is a lesson here - support is always welcome from whatever quarter - however, it is the trade unions that will lead the fight to save public service, not Lords!

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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.

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Local services keywords:

Care Homes (43)

Closures (164)

Cuts (3507)

Disability (104)

Fire (292)

Fire service (71)

Huddersfield (234)

Libraries (95)

Library (123)

Nursery (38)

Probation (51)

Water (129)

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Article dated 5 April 2017

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Thurrock council workers striking against pay cuts, photo by Dave Murray

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