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From The Socialist newspaper, 31 October 2012

Bromley council: Drop your plans or face a strike!

A Bromley council worker

The council chamber in Bromley was so packed on 23 October that protesting council workers spilled out onto the council chamber floor. 120 angry workers came to oppose council plans to opt out of the national terms and conditions for council workers.

The council are saying staff have nothing to worry about as they are not proposing to change any of the existing terms and conditions and we should trust in them. But, addressing the councillors, staff side secretary Glenn Kelly said: "the last time I heard someone say 'trust in me' was the snake in Jungle Book - just as he was about to devour Mowgli!"

The proposal comes at a time when the chief executive is travelling the borough like the grim reaper telling staff to prepare for a cuts Armageddon. Some councillors are calling for the workforce to be reduced from 3,700 to 300!

Glenn told the council that so dire was the message from the chief executive that he "half expected to see him in Bromley high street with a placard round his neck saying the end is nigh".

Despite mass opposition from the workforce the council voted to proceed with the proposals. They will now ask staff to sign up for the new contracts or face sacking and re-engagement.

But Glenn told the councillors that: "turkeys don't vote for Christmas". Now both Unite and Unison intend balloting members for industrial action if the council doesn't back down.

We will now be organising a mass refusal to sign the new contracts.

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