Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/11128

Posted on 9 February 2011 at 12:00 GMT

Council unions in Swansea make a start against cuts

Swansea Unison workers protest against cuts and privatisation in Wales, photo Swansea Socialist Party

Swansea Unison workers protest against cuts and privatisation in Wales, photo Swansea Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

Hundreds of local authority members of the unions GMB, Ucatt, Unison and Unite attended meetings in Swansea on 8 February. The council has put forward a raft of 30+ measures aimed at reducing costs at the expense of our members' living standards and the large attendances demonstrate the anger that exists.

Ronnie Job, Swansea Unison (personal capacity)

The long list of cuts includes:

The meeting highlighted important events coming up, including a lobby of the full council meeting on 28 February that is setting the budget, the demonstration in Cardiff on 5 March against the Tory and Liberal Democrat conferences taking place in Cardiff, and the TUC London demonstration on 26 March.

The message from the union top table was that the unions will not discuss conditions covered by Part 2 of the national agreement (green book). This is to be welcomed but a lot of the lowest paid members stand to lose a large percentage of their income if the unions concede on the allowances covered by Part 3 of the agreement and on these terms there will be negotiation.

These workers need the assurance that all cuts in their terms and conditions will be opposed. The Memorandum of Understanding, a document agreed between the joint trade unions and the 22 local authorities in Wales, was held up as in some way providing protection for local authority workers.

The fact that Swansea council can sign up to it while still insisting that they will proceed with these cuts shows what that document is worth. It certainly hasn't protected workers in (Labour) Neath & Port Talbot where workers have now suffered a 2% pay cut and Rhondda Cynon Taff (also Labour), where the entire workforce has until 18 February to sign up to reduced terms and conditions or face the sack.

Seriously prepare

Swansea Unison workers protest against cuts and privatisation in Wales, photo Swansea Socialist Party

Swansea Unison workers protest against cuts and privatisation in Wales, photo Swansea Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge)

What the meeting did not do was seriously prepare the members of the four unions present for coordinated industrial action, which is probably the only thing that will force the employer to retreat on the majority of the issues.

There was a suggestion that "somewhere down the line it might be necessary to draw a line in the sand and ask members whether they want to refuse to cross it", which is the most round-about way of warning that strike action may be necessary I've ever heard!

Even if the unions gave the council every measure it is asking for, it would not be enough of a saving to balance the books and it would still come back for our members' jobs, if not this year then next.

We also have to prepare for the likelihood of the council trying to impose these changes when it doesn't get what it wants from negotiation.

A vote for strike action against these cuts cannot be taken for granted, as the vote to accept a 2% pay cut in Neath & Port Talbot shows, but to fail to resist these attacks would be taken as a sign of weakness and would invite further cuts in the near future.

If local authority workers take a public, fighting stance they can draw on support from the entire community that will build a campaign to defeat these attacks and protect all jobs and services.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.






Related links:

Swansea:

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Art and Revolution

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Mother Jones - A US labour pioneer

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

Unions:

triangleWorkers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

triangleTories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

Cuts:

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

Council:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies and sabotage: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against the sackers' charter at Leeds University

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Workers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

PCS

PCS ballots members to send message to government: scrap the pay cap

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

18/10/17

Local government

Unite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2