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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 September 2009

Leeds council workers on indefinite strike

Around 600 Leeds "Streetscene" council workers, including street cleaners and refuse collectors, are on indefinite strike. This has been caused by Leeds City council's decision to cut annual pay by up to one third on average, from 18,000 to 13,000. As shop steward Glen Pickersgill said: "People will lose their homes if this goes through."

This could be the first of many disputes between councils and unions as cuts are made in public spending. The Tory/LibDem-run council say they have to make cuts. But the council leader, Richard Brett, claimed a staggering 45,833 in allowances last year.

The council also claim they have to do this in order to comply with equal pay laws. But how can cutting the wages of some of the lowest paid workers, including women, serve the cause of equality? The council is refusing to negotiate.

The strike is starting to bite, with bins left unemptied and refuse collection sites closed by pickets or for lack of staff.

The Unison and GMB members have strong support from the people of Leeds. They are appreciated as hardworking people who turn out every day in all weathers.

A demonstration at council offices on 10 September was followed by a march across the city centre to a meeting, which voted unanimously to continue the strike.

Support and donations for the strike fund to: Geoff Hodgson House, 160a Woodhouse Lane, Leeds LS2 9EN, or branch@leedsunisonlg.org.uk or to the GMB at dave.noble@leeds.gov.uk

Kevin Pattison and Manny Dominguez

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In The Socialist 16 September 2009:

Big business to blame for climate change


No Job Cuts

No to cuts in jobs and services

Capitalist market prescribes diet of cuts

TUC conference - reactions to Brown's speech

TUC conference: Fightback rally


War and occupation

End the Afghan nightmare now


Socialist Party workplace news

Nationalise Anglesey Aluminium to save jobs

Rover - Gangster capitalists were treated as saviours

London RMT: Discussing an election coalition

Leeds council workers on indefinite strike

National Greed

Construction workers' pay - reject the deal!

The fight against the building blacklist


Socialist Students

Students left penniless

Cardiff: Youth Fight for Jobs

College workers strike against vicious cuts


Vestas

Vestas: the fight is far from over

Coventry Socialist Party councillors show support for Vestas


Socialist Party feature

Interview with POA leader Brian Caton


Socialist Party women

Victory - Decent jobs not exploitation


Socialist Party review

A life of revolution


International socialist news and analysis

Japan: Election ends Liberal Democrats' 54-year reign

Bangladesh: Angry protests at police attacks

Sri Lanka: Defiant Tamil protest


 

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