Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/523/3863
Greenwich workers fight attacks
MEMBERS OF the Unison union in Greenwich have been lobbying councillors in protest at proposals to privatise and cut council services. The council plans include privatising cleaning and catering services, job cuts and transferring staff to "trusts".
Onay Kasab, Greenwich Unison, personal capacity
The campaign has already scored an early victory. Before the council meeting on 27 February, managers visited libraries at Coldharbour and Abbey Wood and the mobile service staff and told them these services would close and that there would be compulsory redundancies.
Within hours, Greenwich Unison launched a campaign. The council took fright very quickly. This was based on our past campaign victories. The branch had already prevented cuts to the mobile service the previous year as well as previously preventing the closure of education services such as the home-school liaison service.
The branch has a history of successfully defending members. Care workers faced pay cuts of thousands of pounds a year and cuts to leave and maternity pay. Mental health social workers were told last year to expect their call-out payments to be cut by £2,500 a year. The branch won these battles by uniting workers in defence and solidarity campaigns.
The recent single-status victory (see page 7) also sent a clear message of strength. While members were lobbying the council on 27 February, the director faced the lobby and admitted a humiliating climb-down confirming that the library closures would not go ahead.
The branch is lobbying again on Wednesday 26 March at 6pm at Woolwich town hall. Library members will be in full attendance to defend libraries but also to stand in solidarity with workers across the council.
In The Socialist 4 March 2008:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
International Women's Day
Environment and socialism
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis