spotInternational figures

spotLabour Party figures

spotLefts

spotMiscellaneous

spotNationalists

spotOther UK politicans

spotSocialist Party and CWI public figures

spotTory figures

spotTrade union figures

spotTransport

spotWriters and artists


All keywords


Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Socialist Party and CWI public figures keywords:

Andrew Price (3)

Bernard Roome (2)

Brian Debus (44)

Chris Baugh (39)

Chris Flood (44)

Dave Nellist (210)

Glenn Kelly (61)

Hannah Sell (97)

Hugo Pierre (14)

Ian Page (47)

Jackie Grunsell (52)

Janice Godrich (41)

Joe Higgins (79)

John Macreadie (9)

John McInally (72)

John Reid (29)

Kevin Bennett (27)

Kshama Sawant (83)

Len Hockey (21)

Martin Powell-Davies (81)

Mary Jackson (8)

Onay Kasab (60)

Paul Couchman (14)

Paul Murphy (56)

Peter Taaffe (171)

Rob Williams (97)

Rob Windsor (34)

Robbie Segal (17)

Roger Bannister (77)

Ruth Coppinger (15)

Senan (1)

Suzanne Muna (39)

Terry Fields (10)

Tony Mulhearn (114)

Tony Saunois (14)

Ty Moore (3)

Glenn Kelly


Highlight keywords  |Print this articlePrint this article
From: The Socialist issue 862, 1 July 2015: Reject EU austerity!

Search site for keywords: Bromley - Council - Union - Unite - Unison - Unions - Workers - Tories - Strike - facility time - London - Government - Jobs - Privatisation - Public sector - Trade unions - Witch-hunt - Pay - Public services - Libraries - Cuts - Austerity - Glenn Kelly - General strike - Library - Local government

Escalate strikes to fight council's 90% sell-off

Striking workers picket Bromley council, photo Rob Williams

Striking workers picket Bromley council, photo Rob Williams   (Click to enlarge)

Paul Callanan, London Socialist Party

On the back of their shock general election win, the Tories think they are untouchable. In one borough in south-east London, they plan to outsource more than 90% of staff.

Bromley council is a template for Conservative austerity plans. But the heroic stand of Bromley council employees is a foretaste of the colossal struggles to come.

Since January, members of general union Unite have taken over 25 days of strike action. The union has called more strikes on 7 and 8 July to coincide with Osborne's budget statement.

Privatisation

Bromley's Tory administration wants to privatise almost all services, reducing in-house staff from 4,000 to 300. It has slashed union facility time to prepare for this (see issue 859).

It claims to need 50 million worth of "savings" - namely cuts - this year. But it has 130 million reserves. And it has somehow found the money to buy a Holiday Inn on the Isle of Wight!

If Tory plans are successful, Bromley will become a 'commissioning council' whose only role is to contract-out services to private vultures. Immediate plans are to privatise all libraries and the Astley Centre, which provides day care for adults with learning disabilities. If sold, Unite says the centre will close by the end of 2016.

Already strikes have been complemented by fantastic support from the public. When library workers held stalls across the borough, service users queued up to sign the union petition. A demonstration on 13 June included over 300 trade unionists and local people. This shows what a well-organised, fighting union branch can do to mobilise strong feeling in the community to defend services.

Attacks on the union

Hence the council's attacks on unions organising its workers. The secretaries of the two main council union branches, Unite and Unison, are Kathy Smith and Glenn Kelly. They had been working full-time for members. Their union facility time has now been withdrawn, and they have been sent back to their original council roles.

Kathy and Glenn are now forced to work until all hours of the night just to keep their branches running. The council claims this is merely a money-saving measure.

Yet Unite's offer to pay for Kathy's full-time release was flatly turned down. This demonstrates once and for all that the attack is political, in line with national Tory plans to shackle trade unions.

The assault on public services is also national. Our unions must do everything in their power to build a national fightback. Unfortunately, union leaders are yet to take the necessary steps.

The bureaucracy of Unison, the main union in local government, has been more intent on fighting socialists within the union than attacks on jobs and services. As part of a witch-hunt against Socialist Party members, Bromley Unison branch was effectively closed down.

It is a testament to their determination to fight that many workers joined Unite. When a suspension over trumped-up charges was finally lifted, Glenn was re-elected Unison branch secretary.

Unison is now set join Unite in the next round of strikes. The Socialist Party welcomes this.

General strike

On picket lines in Bromley and elsewhere, the Socialist Party demand for a 24-hour general strike has been very well received. This mood is reinforced by a number of recent union victories around the country. Still, union leaders doubt the resolve of working class people to struggle and win.

The Tories might think they can get away with anything. But in fact this government is weak. The struggle must be escalated - in Bromley, and nationally - if we are to stop the wholesale destruction of public sector jobs and services.






Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Related links:

Bromley:

triangleBromley library workers strike against privatisation

triangleWorkplace news in brief

triangleFight the 'burning' of our museums and libraries!

triangleUnion library campaign strikes blow against Tories

triangleWorkplace news in brief

Council:

triangleStop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangleBradford campaign to save children's services launched

triangleSix months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangleTwo in five 'right to buy' homes now for let

Union:

triangleSupport the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

triangleStrikers rally in Liverpool

Unite:

triangleUnite day of action against blacklisting

triangleLocal government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

Unison:

triangleBrighton Uni lecturers strike against job cuts

Unions:

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

Workers:

triangle110 years ago: massacre at Santa Maria school in Chile - commemorate 21 December 1907

Tories:

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

Strike:

triangleThe Socialist's 2017 quiz

Facility time:

trianglePCS election: Vote Democracy Alliance

London:

triangleSouth London health bosses' cover-up

Government:

triangleTrump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Jobs:

trianglePlans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

Privatisation:

triangleBrexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

Public sector:

trianglePCS union says no to pay misery

Trade unions:

triangleLabour 'purge' furore really just democracy

Witch-hunt:

triangleLivingstone's smear of Militant

Pay:

triangleDemonstrations by uni students and staff greet Bath vice-chancellor resignation

Public services:

triangleSave our NHS

Libraries:

triangleBristol libraries safe - for now - as council caves to pressure

Cuts:

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

Austerity:

triangleTUSC conference to debate 2018 elections

Glenn Kelly:

triangleUnison conference: confident delegates take control, give Corbyn 'rapturous' welcome

Library:

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Local government:

triangleLabour council Blairites deselected