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From The Socialist newspaper, 4 January 2012

Cuts used to attack trade unionists

In its latest round of cuts, Waltham Forest's Labour council has cut another 26 jobs and merged its library service with the Waltham Forest Direct benefits, council tax and advice service.

Nancy Taaffe, Waltham Forest Unison chair and convenor for libraries, is one of the sacked workers. Nancy has a record of fighting tirelessly for union members and for public services in Waltham Forest, north east London. The council appears to be removing trade union activists in order to make it easier to push through savage cuts.

Nancy said: "Waltham Forest Direct is the first port of call for people who have problems; it can be a noisy and tense place. There should be privacy for people who require help and support and adequate time and space for people to provide a service properly.

"Primary school children trying to have a story read to them or students who live in noisy, crowded homes should not share the same space as people who are having problems accessing or relating to basic council services. The reality is that the library service is being disbanded under the guise of a merger."

The council has used its new 'Residents First' department to create a tier of temporary jobs and advertise them externally. This is brutal exploitation of mass unemployment to intimidate the workforce and drive through cuts.

Nancy and others in Unison, backed up 100% by Waltham Forest Anti-Cuts Union and other activists, have launched a campaign of resistance to all these cuts.

Waltham Forest Unison is holding two emergency branch meetings on Friday 6 January at Waltham Forest Town Hall, Forest Road, E17 4JF, at 12 noon and 4pm.

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