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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 September 2013

Taking the anti-cuts fight to the councils

Overwhelming opposition stuns Hull council

Mick Whale

Hull city council workers have stuck an enormous two fingers up to the cuts. They have rejected the worsening of terms and conditions which management was trying to force on them as part of the council's attempts to balance the budget - by making the workforce suffer.

Indicative ballots across the authority during the summer weeks, delivered votes of more than 80% rejection in all unions.

Unison, the largest union achieved a 90% rejection and their ballot included support for industrial action, up to and including strike action.

The size of the rejection vote surprised the Labour cabinet, the officers and some of the union leaders.

What it shows is that there is a preparedness of local authority workers to fight.

Significantly, the highest turnout in the vote against the proposals came from Unison, which had actively campaigned through workplace and mass meetings.

There is no doubt that this pushed up the turnout and the extent of the rejection.

The hated chief executive, Darryl Stephenson has ended up with egg on his face.

His advice to the Labour cabinet was to sack and re-engage on the worst possible terms and conditions irrespective of the vote.

Literally within minutes of the result being communicated, the Labour portfolio holder for human resources was on the phone seeking a meeting with the trade union representatives to try and find a different way forward.

Council workers are not out of the woods yet but the result will give the workers confidence.

It remains to be seen exactly what 'different way forward' the authority comes back with.

However, by knocking back the attempts to worsen terms and conditions, the workforce has made itself less attractive to would-be private contractors who are circling round the authority like vultures.

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In The Socialist 18 September 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Fight royal mail sell-off!

Britain: a seething cauldron of class anger

Stop NHS cutbacks

A UN attack we agree with

Hillsborough: even more cover-ups revealed

MPs still have their snouts in the trough

Ban this trade in death

Lock up the tax evaders

What they really think


Socialist Party youth feature

Anger at zero-hour contracts in universities


Socialist Party workplace news

Second seven-day strike at Hovis

Warrington town hall unions lobby councillors

Strikes force One Housing Group into talks

Bus strike against pay freeze

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Lively demo against cuts at Whipps Cross hospital

TUSC campaigners look to shake Fleetwood

Scotland: Bedroom tax close to death

Wolverhampton councillors slash jobs

Overwhelming opposition stuns Hull council

Leicester council feels the pressure

One week left to smash fighting fund target!

The Socialist: Swansea achieves subscription goal


International socialist news and analysis

Commonwealth governments' meeting: Protest against despot Rajapaksa

Kazakhstan: Jailed activist awarded human rights prize

Oppositionists condemn murderous Iran regime


Socialist Party comments and reviews

TV review: Vietnam's 'children of Agent Orange'

Labour backs austerity...


 

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Related links:

Hull:

triangleCatchy folk rock with a socialist edge

triangleHull youth festival

triangleYoung, angry and fighting back

triangleSchool students' remarkable tribute to workers' Spanish Civil War bravery

Cuts:

triangleBradford protests against kids' service cuts

triangleVictory: Pontllanfraith leisure centre saved

triangleLabour councillors push through savage cuts in Kirklees budget

triangleNorthants council crisis - protesters demand an end to cuts and privatisation

Anti-cuts:

triangleBuilding support for Corbyn's anti-cuts policies in the local elections

triangleBristol anti-cuts campaigners debate alternatives to the cuts

triangleCorbyn's Labour needs 100% anti-cuts strategy and fight for democracy

Council:

triangleSave Salford nurseries!

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: How can we get Jeremy Corbyn's anti-austerity policies into our local council?

Union:

triangleUnison national women's conference

Labour:

triangleBlairite mayor faces open election after democratic 'irregularities' - fight for a no-cuts mayor

Council workers:

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

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