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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 December 2010

'We need fighting unions to halt cuts'

NEATH AND Port Talbot local authority has reached an agreement with the majority of unions, including Unison, representing its 7,000 workforce on implementing massive cuts.

Socialist Party members in Unison

The deal confirms what Unison Socialist Party members have been predicting and many activists have feared, that Unison's leadership, with some exceptions, is prepared to concession bargain away hard fought for terms and conditions in the forlorn hope that this will protect jobs.

The agreement includes a pay cut for most staff of up to 2% on top of a three-year pay freeze already announced, reductions in unsocial hours and overtime payment and this is just the start.

Instead of providing leadership and opposing these cuts massive concessions on terms and conditions are conceded without a fight. This will give the green light to local authority employers to go for gold.

Whilst the phrase 'dented shield' has not been used by the union bureaucracy in Wales and nationally, this is their policy in all but name. Concede on terms and conditions, batten down the hatches and wait for the New Labour knight in shining armour to arrive to save the day.

Aside from the fact that New Labour before the general election was planning a similar attack on the public sector, our members can't wait five years for a reprieve.

Neath and Port Talbot is a Labour council which threatened to sack the whole workforce. We need union leaders that will stand up to the employer, the Welsh Assembly and the Con-Dem government.

The cuts to terms and conditions in Neath and Port Talbot, massive though they are, will not protect jobs. In many areas of Wales anti-cuts campaigns have been set up to organise the fightback. The students have shown the way in fighting back. We need to link with students, other unions and community campaigns to build a campaign that will defeat the cuts.

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In The Socialist 8 December 2010:


Fighting cuts and fees

This is just the start!

The fight goes on against fees and cuts

Resisting police intimidation


Youth Fight for Education

Youth Fight for Education launch

Youth Fight for Jobs conference report

Socialist Students conference

30 November: student day of action on cuts and fees

Con-Dems can be defeated: Welsh Assembly backs down on EMA and fees

Organising a college walkout


Anti-cuts campaign

Cuts cost lives

Tories' secret job cuts plan exposed

'We need fighting unions to halt cuts'

Nottingham march against billionaire tax dodgers


National Shop Stewards Network

All-Britain Anti-Cuts Campaign to be launched

Building the anti-cuts movement

Scotland: Unison votes for fighting cuts strategy

TUSC calls election campaign conference


Keep the post public campaign

Keep the Post Public campaign


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Housing under attack: Ripping off the roof over our heads


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Medirest health workers need help to fight multinational

Campaign stops health bosses' closure plan

Don't let profit become the bottom line in care


Anti-racism

Battle for Barking

Hull: racist BNP demo stopped


International socialist news and analysis

Protesters demand halt to opencast coal mining in Bangladesh

Egypt's regime perpetrates a massive election fraud

Warmonger Rajapaksa forced to abandon his Oxford Union speech

Kazakhstan - a repressive and corrupt state


 

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Related links:

Port Talbot:

trianglePowerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

triangleThyssenKrupp - Tata steel merger

triangleTata pension deal: 'Gun to the head' offer accepted

Unions:

triangleNHS - build the fightback

triangleNHS we're ready to fight

triangleLocal government workers' reps reject 2% pay offer

triangleVictory for school cleaners!

Cuts:

triangleBradford Socialist Party: A strategy to defeat the cuts

triangleScene set for TUSC conference electoral debate

triangleHaringey: now's our chance for a no-cuts council

Unison:

triangleThreat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council

triangleUnison national women's conference

Neath:

triangleStrike at ABMU Health Board

Labour:

triangleBuilding the campaign against clearances of the working class

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