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Posted on 25 January 2010 at 0:00 GMT

Glasgow City Unison fights back against cuts in jobs and services

Over 120 people, members of community groups and trade unions, attended a meeting called by the Glasgow City Unison branch. The meeting was organised to begin the fight back against cuts in jobs and services in the city.

Ian Leech

At its January budget meeting, Glasgow City council will vote in favour of cuts totalling 66 million for the year 2010 alone. This massive cut will see 600 job losses and the slashing of funds to voluntary sector projects and to council budgets.

In response, Glasgow City Unison has devised an anti-cuts strategy that involves building links with community groups across the city.

Trade unionists and community activists addressed the meeting. Brian Smith, Glasgow Unison branch secretary and a member of the International Socialists, [the Socialist Party's sister party in Scotland] outlined the branch strategy. He attacked the politicians of all parties who intended to make working class people pay for the bail out of the banks and the subsequent crisis.

Janice Godrich, president of the PCS civil servants' union and also a member of the International Socialists, spoke on the government's latest welfare plans that will cause further hardship for working class people. Privatisation will affect member's jobs and conditions and the services they deliver. In summing up Janice committed her union's support to the anti-cuts campaign.

Alan Gow, a community activist, condemned the cuts in community development staff that will have a detrimental effect on community groups' ability to organise and campaign.

The discussion from the floor emphasised the disgrace of Labour council's attack on the most vulnerable through cutting budgets. Speakers welcomed the Unison branch initiative in creating a city-wide campaign that would seek to create unity rather than falling into the trap, as in the past, of arguing to 'save our facility but cut theirs instead'.

Representatives from disability groups condemned the council's intention to close disability centres in the city, causing hardship to service users and their families.

Volunteers from pensioners' groups explained of their fears that a cut of 20% in their budget would see an end to a service that they have provided for the past 25 years.

As part of Unison's proposal, the community members volunteered a number of individuals to join trade union representatives on a city-wide steering group to further develop the campaign in the coming months and years.

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