Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/395/4492
Coventry single status dispute
The stakes are raised
COVENTRY COUNCIL workers are fighting a pay-cutting deal being imposed under a 'Single Status' agreement. Thousands of workers, UNISON and TGWU members, were on strike on 19 May and on 24 and 25 May.
Dave Nellist, Socialist Party councillor
GMB/Apex voted against strike action, but in support of action short of strike. A work-to-rule involving all three unions is therefore continuing on non-strike days.
Approximately 1,600 workers (according to the council's figures) are 'losers' - some up to £8,000 a year. A large number of workers such as refuse collectors and gravediggers on, say, £16,000 to £19,000, face cuts in pay of £3,000 or more.
Many more of those said to be neutral or 'gainers' are unhappy with restrictions on pay increments under the new system, or have lost shift and premium payments.
Coventry is apparently the first city to strike over Single Status. But there must be a nationally co-ordinated response as the pay cuts in Coventry could be repeated elsewhere unless a national fight-back is developed. Coventry UNISON branch are understood to be calling for an urgent special national conference of local authority unions to begin this.
l Please send messages of support to UNISON and TGWU: Coventry UNISON, Room 11, The Koco Building, The Arches, Spon End, Coventry CV1 3JQ. Telephone: 024 7667 9475, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org . Further background at www.coventryunison.co.uk .
TGWU office, Broadgate House, Broadgate, Coventry CV1 1NH. Telephone: 024 7683 3235. TGWUemail@example.com
In The Socialist 2 June 2005: