Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/18429
Manchester: Furious lobby against privatisation of services
Manchester city council's plans to totally privatise rubbish bin collection and street cleaning are being opposed by the workers' unions, the GMB and Unite. The council claims that as the current part-privatised model isn't working, the solution is to completely privatise the service.
On a lobby described by the Manchester Evening News as "furious", Unite branch secretary Jimmy Thornton told me:
"The council took a decision a number of years ago to split the service and privatise part of it. They said they needed to do this to make the service work effectively.
"Now they're saying it doesn't work and they need to privatise it completely, admitting this puts over 180 jobs at risk.
"We know that other services face privatisation too, so we're opposing privatisation and believe services should be taken back in-house".
The council's conscious agenda is to privatise all council services, in line with New Labour's 'commissioning' agenda. This will lead to massive job losses, something the council has already admitted in relation to the refuse service. It will also lead to profiteering and a worse service for residents in the city. The GMB and Unite lobbied the council's executive committee on 8 April and are receiving strong support from Manchester trades council, the Defend Manchester anti-cuts campaign, and South Manchester Against Cuts.
Activists in Manchester will be seeking to build a mass campaign with the local authority unions to demand that public services are kept public, and those already privatised or part-privatised should be returned in-house and run along fully-funded, democratically-accountable lines.
Protests can be sent to the council's executive committee members, detailed here: