Hackney library strike - photo Brian Debus
Hackney library strike - photo Brian Debus

Library workers in Hackney, east London, are continuing their strike action against huge cuts proposed by the Labour council, on 1 and 3 February. The action involves members of both Unison and Unite unions.

Hackney Unison says:

“This is a direct consequence of management’s failure to address any of our concerns over their proposed new library structure, which does away with 20 frontline staff, requires working one in seven Sundays, removes fixed tea breaks, and will create a very stressful environment.

“The following comment from a frontline member of staff sums up the current situation: ‘The lack of understanding, by managers, about the daily routines and timetabling beggars belief really. Are they expecting us to be negotiating classes, events, shelving, cashing up, logging on, lunches, floor-walking, office time, displays and tea breaks between ourselves on a daily basis?’

“All our alternative proposals made over the last four months have either been ignored or brushed aside. Management, with all their resources, have failed to come forward with any new proposals.

“This is a Labour council which is rubber-stamping compulsory redundancies and imposing a poor work-life balance on library staff.

“Our last strike day demonstrated who is essential to run the library service. Hackney Central library was closed all day, despite them having five managers on site with combined salaries of close to £300,000!”