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Mood for action among Unison members in Waltham Forest
Reflecting the growing mood of anger against the cuts amongst Waltham Forest council workers in north east London, over 300 Unison members voted unanimously to support a motion which included a call for a consultative ballot on strike action to fight the cuts.
The meeting was the largest for years and had to be moved outside because the council chamber was too small. Representatives from Unite, GMB and the NUT unions also spoke at the meeting calling for solidarity amongst all council workers to fight the cuts.
The local GMB and Unite branches have also passed resolutions in favour of consultative ballots.
No wonder there is anger when it was revealed that the council is paying £20 million a year to consultants while some council workers are threatened with losing £5,000 a year through imposed changes in their employment conditions.
Speakers voiced disgust at the Labour-run council which is only too willing to push through these cuts. Unison members also showed big support for the local anti-cuts campaign.
They literally queued up to sign the Waltham Forest anti-cuts union 'join' sheets.
Leaflets for the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) conference on 11 June and for a Waltham Forest trades council and anti-cuts union joint public meeting in support of those unions taking strike action on 30 June over pensions, jobs and pay, were eagerly snatched out of our hands.
The mood for strike action was further underlined by one Unison member who asked: Why isn't our union taking action on the same day?
Waltham Forest Trades Council and Waltham Forest Anti-Cuts Union joint public meeting
Monday 20 June, 7.30pm
Harmony Hall, Truro Road, Walthamstow, London E17 7BY
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 2 June 2011 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.