Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/566/6898
An injury to one is an injury to all
Greenwich council workers turned up in force on 28 January to defend 27 of their colleagues who face compulsory redundancy. Social workers, secretarial staff, gardeners and builders were among the 200 council staff who blocked the entrance to the town hall in protest at the forced sacking of 27 building operatives.
The workers were also protesting about proposed cuts to pay and conditions through a 'human resources policy review', privatisation of a community centre and pay cuts for mental health social workers.
The protest was led by Greenwich Unison. But it also included workers from the Unite and GMB trade unions.
Councillors were greeted with boos and chants of "shame on you". In response, the council said it was concerned about the safety of the protesters, in light of the busy traffic!
It is a shame that the council is not so concerned when it comes to forcing people out of a job they have done for decades.
The campaign is already winning concessions. The council have agreed to ask for volunteers rather than to push for compulsory redundancies.
Redundancies, be they voluntary or compulsory, are not welcome. But the bottom line demand from the Greenwich unions is "no compulsory redundancies". And it is a demand that Greenwich Unison in particular is keen to stick to.
I said at the protest rally: "We will not allow a single one of our members to be forced out - we will not stand by and allow compulsory redundancies - for us the slogan 'an injury to one is an injury to all' is not just a slogan - it is a reality."
In The Socialist 11 February 2009:
Socialist Party youth and students
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party workplace news
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party review