Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/794/17961
Unison: National anti-cuts battle needed
A Wolverhampton Unison member
"Will they even empty the bins?" - so read the headline in our local paper reporting on the cash crisis in Labour-led Wolverhampton council.
A crisis brought on by government demands for further cuts of £25 million on top of £98 million already planned.
Our Unison branch has argued that the role of Labour councillors should be to defend the working class and local services.
They should be prepared to take any action which protects those services and set a needs-led budget.
This is a view for which we have been criticised by Unison full-time officials. The union policy is to advise branches not to make such calls.
This is not only an issue for Wolverhampton, in the West Midlands alone councils face a total of £11 billion worth of cuts.
The time has come for Unison to recognise that we face nothing less than the wholesale destruction of local public services and that the fight to defend them cannot be left to individual branches or more recruitment drives.
Wolverhampton is one of 49 councils who recently set up a petition calling for the government to stop the attacks.
Imagine if those 49 councils all refused to make further cuts. If they don't, we need to elect workers representatives who will. And we need nationally coordinated industrial action from all public sector unions.
In The Socialist 15 January 2014:
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