Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/495/2625
Council workers make a stand
Salford council workers are striking against management breaking long-standing agreements and casualising their jobs. A strike on 27 June has failed to shift the bosses so further strikes will take place on 12 and 17 July.
Steve North, Salford
Employees in refuse collection, street cleansing and recycling are covered by nationally agreed pay, terms and conditions. But in Salford, these agreements are broken by the council, using agencies and cheap labour to drive down wages. Meanwhile, less workers are supposed to empty 1,800 more bins than in the past.
I visited the June picket where Ian Royle, Unite deputy convenor, told me: "This strike action is to focus the employer and to get an honest meeting with them. We need to stop the casualisation of our jobs and protect our employment rights.
"It is also important that we are as strong and united as possible before job evaluation is implemented next year. We've tried talking, but now is the time to make a stand!"
Management have added insult to injury by lying about the situation on TV, and writing to all council employees to undermine the union. Workers are demanding:
The correct number of employees required to complete the work, employed directly by the council.
All workers to receive the nationally agreed pay and conditions.
You can support them by visiting the pickets at Turnpike House near Hope Hospital.
Protest to Salford Council, phone 0161 909 6500 or e-mail the lead councillor for environment, Councillor.Mann@salford.gov.uk
In The Socialist 12 July 2007:
National Shop Stewards Network
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Tales from the council chambers
Marxist analysis: history
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party events
Socialist Party review
International socialist news and analysis