Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/854/20635
Bromley workers escalate strikes
Socialist Party members in Bromley
Unite members working for Bromley council have begun a big escalation of the strike campaign launched to defend workers' rights and fight off mass privatisation.
Library service workers began four days of action on 28 April. All Unite branch members will be called out on 1, 7 and 19 May. Parks workers will take strike action on 5 May. Care workers and transport drivers will take action from 13 to 18 May.
The union is clear - this is a campaign that has to be fought to the finish. The Tories in Bromley are attacking workers' rights by attacking the trade union, and privatising every service that they can legally get away with.
Tory councillors have publicly shown they do not believe that trade union reps have any right whatsoever to time off for trade union duties - despite this right being clearly laid out by legislation. When it comes to attacking trade unions, the Tories have no problem breaking the law!
The campaign against privatisation is in particular highlighting services including libraries, passenger services and adult care. An exemplary public campaign has made clear that the people of Bromley do not support library privatisation. Nor do they support the council proposal of replacing paid workers with volunteers.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: "Bromley is at the forefront of the fight against privatisation. This strategy, relying not on the law but primarily on the power of strike action and campaigning with communities is an example to every trade union organised in local government."
What is now needed is coordinated joint union strike action on a national basis in defence of trade union rights and against privatisation. Bromley is not the only employer attacking trade union time off. Nor is it the only council privatising services. This requires a national response.
In The Socialist 30 April 2015:
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International socialist news and analysis
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