Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/706/13924

From The Socialist newspaper, 22 February 2012

Organising against the cuts in Greenwich

The Greenwich Unite 2050 branch, which represents many workers in south east London, has grown recently - not just in numbers of new recruits, but also qualitatively. Socialist Party members have been in the leadership of the branch since April 2011 and a number of important concessions have already been won.

Increased pay has been won for low-paid library and call centre workers by organising those workers to stand together and take action collectively.

Attempts to drastically cut the pay and conditions of cleaners, catering workers and drivers in passenger services have been forced back. Negotiations are taking place which may even mean a pay increase for some in this group.

When a small group of workers were handed compulsory redundancy notices, the branch campaigned against these. As a result, the amount of redundancy pay offered was doubled.

After a long battle with the council, on 16 February the branch held its first meeting on council premises with time off agreed for members to attend. The council had originally withdrawn this authorisation when the new branch leadership was elected. The 160 chairs that were set out were not enough. Many had to stand in the council's largest hall.

Libraries campaign

The meeting heard about the magnificent libraries campaign. Over 1,300 members of the public have signed the Unite survey cards opposing the transfer. Nearly 500 have signed petitions. Now, following a council decision to press ahead with the transfer despite the huge opposition, Unite members in libraries are preparing for strike action and a real victory is possible.

Many of the workers who are now activists in the Unite branch were previously members of Unison. However, the actions of the right-wing, witch-hunting leadership of Unison made it impossible for Greenwich Unison to defend its members effectively.

Socialist Party members who previously led the Unison branch made the difficult and painful decision to begin organising in Unite, while continuing to support Unison activists fighting to transform their union into an active campaigning body.

Had the move not been made, pay claims would not have been won, pay and conditions would not have been protected and workers facing disciplinary proceedings would have been sacked.

Unison's regional full-time officials now occupy the Greenwich Unison branch which is still in 'administration'. Over 1,000 members have left and neither branch meetings nor elections take place.

These unelected officials failed to prevent the privatisation of the council adventure and play service. They did not campaign, just writing a puny letter to councillors. When the unelected branch secretary and a regional Unison employee turned up to a council meeting to hand the letters to councillors, they missed the councillors and leafleted the Unite members instead!

There are major battles ahead in Greenwich. The council, encouraged by the witch-hunt in Unison, has taken an anti-union stance. Socialist Party member Onay Kasab has been elected as branch secretary of Unite. But, following his refusal to accept an offer of 32,000 to leave, the council has now decided to privatise the service where he works.

Not content with acting as austerity administrators for this viciously anti-working class Con-Dem government, Labour councillors will also viciously attack the trade unions, including privatising whole services and inflicting a collective punishment on other workers.

Unite members need to campaign against all cuts and to defend their fighting branch leadership. It is no accident that as well as attacking Onay's position, the council are targeting libraries. The parks department could be next - both departments are led by fighting socialists.

The fight put up by the library workers to defend pay, conditions and the service gives employers the best answer - we will organise and we will fight!

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


In The Socialist 22 February 2012:


Socialist Party youth and students

For real jobs - not workfare

Main parties have no solution to youth unemployment

Defend education - Join the student walkout


Socialist Party feature

What's wrong with capitalism?


International socialist news and analysis

Romania: Protest movement topples the government

Kazakhstan: Defend workers' leaders


Socialist Party workplace news

Pensions: Strike on 28 March

Sparks defeat Balfours - now for total victory over BESNA!

Support the workers at MMP packaging

Tyne and Wear Metro cleaners

Organising against the cuts in Greenwich

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

800 celebrate life of Rob Windsor, a socialist champion of Coventry's people

Save Charing Cross hospital!

Wales: A tale of two conferences

'Capitalism fails the poor' agree Oxford University students!

Portsmouth: Anti-cuts activists present an alternative budget

Gateshead: Children's healthcare under threat

Fight homophobic Tory attacks

North West aggregate meetings

Them & Us


Reviews and readers' comments

Fans not financiers should run football

Should socialists support the proposed HS2 rail link?

Radio review - My generation


 

Home   |   The Socialist 22 February 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  




Related links:

Greenwich:

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

triangleMcStriker addresses Greenwich trade unionists

triangle'Ana Key MP' - Socialist artist responds to attacks

triangleGreenwich & Bexley Socialist Party: Labour's manifesto - a programme for a socialist Labour government?

triangleSchool cuts can be beaten

Cuts:

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

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

Council:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

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

triangleSalford Unison condemns pay cuts

Unison:

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

triangleThe fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

Unite:

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Pay:

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

Libraries:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

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