Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/537/6147
The costs of privatisation
Street cleaners and park workers in the London Borough of Waltham Forest have had their jobs contracted out to Kier, a large company which includes privatised services amongst its portfolio. They are still fighting to maintain their salaries in a battle over the implementation of the 'single status' job evaluation scheme. Now they are facing more attacks in the very first week of contracting out.
First of all, stewards were told that they could not attend any union meetings. The union soon knocked that back as it was part of the TUPE transfer agreement.
But there is now intense anger, as managers have told the workers that there will be no overtime. This could be worth £125 a week for some of these low-paid workers.
In addition, Kier has told all agency workers they would not be wanted, so that a greatly reduced workforce has to do all the work in shorter hours for less pay!
There is great suspicion that a rundown of the service is being proposed by local managers, in the hope of getting favours from the Labour-Lib Dem council. In the meantime, workers want pressure put on council leader Clyde Loakes.
It would be wrong for Kier to underestimate these workers. After all, they took unofficial action earlier this year when the threat of wage cuts from single status was on the cards. Union members are drawing their own conclusions about what needs to be done.
In The Socialist 11 June 2008:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party editorial
Socialist Party campaigns
Defend Tommy Sheridan
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party feature
Socialist Party review
Socialist Party workplace news