Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/643/10444
Coventry jobs slaughter - unions must fight back
Socialist Pary councillor Dave Neillist joins Stoke Aldermoor residents to lobby Coventry council to save their local council neighbourhood management one stop service office., photo Coventry Socialist Party
COVENTRY COUNCIL workers have just received a devastating announcement. In an email, the chief executive Martin '£180,000 a year' Reeves announced that 1,000 posts are to go, plus another 213 grant funded jobs that are likely to be cut in the government's comprehensive spending review (CSR). This does not include jobs that are likely to go in reviews of the administration functions, post and printing, etc.
A Coventry Unison steward
Clearly this will be devastating for the city and wider area. After the destruction of the city's manufacturing base Coventry could already justifiably be labelled the 'Ghost Town' that the Specials sang about.
A recent BBC report showed that 80,000 jobs could go in the region after the CSR - with another 300,000 going in the private sector.
Among the jobs to go are many positions that help the poorest and most vulnerable in the city - advisors that help reduce drug use and teen pregnancies; workers who provide activities for young people, the Consumer Direct advice section... The list is vast. And this is just the start.
The Labour council, whilst opposing the cuts verbally, dutifully voted the cuts package through.
The Socialist Party says that Labour should hold the line and refuse to implement the cuts - allowing breathing space for the city to create a huge anti-cuts campaign of trade unions, community groups, and service users to demand more money from the Tory government.
Labour says that they will hope to avoid compulsory redundancies, but the unions should see the wider picture - voluntarily giving up jobs in a city where youth unemployment is already 20% is shutting the door on young people's future.
It is critical that these cuts are met with a fighting response from the trade unions.
Socialist Party supporters in the council trade unions have already produced the latest issue of The Socialist - Coventry Local Authority Bulletin which is being distributed amongst the workforce.
It calls for the unions to link up and jointly campaign for a demonstration through Coventry to lay the basis for a one day council-wide strike.
In The Socialist 20 October 2010:
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