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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 January 2011

Kirklees council: First round victory in cuts battle

On 7 January, at one of the biggest stewards' meetings in Kirklees Unison branch's history, the branch voted to call off the planned five-day strike which had been endorsed by a mass ballot of the 7,500 strong membership only two weeks earlier. Instead a last minute deal was reached which was in line with the union demands to halt the council's plans.

Mike Forster

The council has backed down over its plans to impose compulsory redundancies, reduce redundancy pay and try to select people for redundancy with a poor sickness record.

Before Christmas, the council was making threats to the workforce that hundreds of jobs could be on the line. They were trying to break morale and trade union organisation. However, they were banking on a 'No' vote in the ballot that had been running through most of December.

The council was pushing dark propaganda that there was no choice but to make the cuts and that they were looking after the best interests of their workforce. But Unison members delivered a 'Yes' vote for action which was announced on 21 December.

The following day a mass meeting of stewards called on the union to act on the ballot result and a strike was planned. This concentrated the minds of the council who made a new offer to the union on 30 December.

They have backed away for the time being but the agreement is only in place until 1 April. Although this is a Labour council, they have made it clear that they intend to push through yet more cuts.

The Socialist Party bulletin produced by Unison members called this a temporary truce. Our task now is to strengthen union and workplace organisation in preparation for bigger battles to come.

A rally called in Huddersfield on 8 January celebrated this victory. As the chair of the rally said, we have won the first round in a much longer battle which we must win if we are to save public services.

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In The Socialist 12 January 2011:


Anti-cuts campaign

Bankers get billions - We get cuts


Youth fight for jobs

March for a future - Join the demonstrations on 29 January

More attacks on rights for young workers

Axe falls on courses at UWIC

Students at Leeds Trinity re-occupy


International socialist news and analysis

Tunisia: Wave of protests against repressive regime


National Shop Stewards Network

Rage at inequality fires workers' action

NSSN National: Anti-Cuts Conference

NSSN debate: The way forward for the anti-cuts movement

National Shop Stewards Network: Strategy and tactics - a dialogue

Labour baroness wants politics kept out of the Forest of Dean

Fighting Labour's cuts in Waltham Forest


Socialist Party news and analysis

Jobs cut while the rich carry on partying

The plot thickens at News International

'Big Oil' cuts corners on safety to boost profits

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Councils ramp up service charges

Campaigners tell PM: 'No to Royal Mail privatisation'

Police moles attempt to discredit protest movements


Socialist Party workplace news

Unison rejects NHS pay freeze

Kirklees council: First round victory in cuts battle

Darlington: Newsquest strikes continue to spread

Rotherham teachers strike

Workplace news in brief


 

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Related links:

Kirklees:

trianglePlans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleKirklees bin workers ballot for strike over schedule and bullying

triangleCouncil proposes worst cuts in living memory

triangleGetting under Labour's skin in Southwark

triangleNarrow vote against action in Kirklees Unison

Cuts:

triangleCardiff Socialist Party: Why Labour and Plaid councils must set no-cuts budgets

triangleSwansea Socialist Party: Why we're lobbying the council for a no-cuts budget

triangleClosure of Nottingham unit shows dismantling of NHS

triangleUCU members balloting for action on pension cuts

Council:

triangleHome care workers to strike

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: How can we get Corbyn's policies into Southampton council?

triangleOutrage against 'monster block' plan

Unison:

triangleLeeds college pay protests

triangleBrighton Uni lecturers strike against job cuts

Huddersfield:

triangle'Hands around HRI' to save Huddersfield A&E

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