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From The Socialist newspaper, 8 March 2007

Southampton

Council workers ballot for city-wide strike

IN SOUTHAMPTON, like many areas, the pain of council cuts is spread unevenly. Care workers' wages are being slashed and services to vulnerable sections of the community are cut. Yet highly paid executives maintain their positions and councillors vote to protect their expenses.

Nick Chaffey, Southampton UNISON Steward, personal capacity

Council workers are now balloting to take city-wide strike action in defence of jobs and services and to oppose the threat of privatisation to over 1,000 jobs. They will be joining over 300 care workers who have voted to take a further four days of strike action this month.

Dr John Beer earns 114,167 as head of services to the elderly and asks: "What am I supposed to do?".

Save Our Services in Southampton has been arguing that the only solution to the current crisis is to increase funding from central government. Yet local politicians, both councillors and our two Labour MPs are silent on this.

With the local elections just two months away there has never been a better time to challenge the no-choice parties. Already care workers have been discussing this and support is growing amongst council workers.

The care workers have set a magnificent example of what needs to be done. The local paper has printed dozens of letters in support of their fight and launched a petition and 'Justice For Carers' campaign.

A united mass campaign of the trade unions and the community, through strike action and the ballot box, is the best way to maximise the pressure on the council and force concessions. Previous victories have shown what is possible. But unless we fight the government for the resources we need this battle will continue forever.

As socialists we need to convince workers not only to take action but break politically with the politics and the parties of the market - to fight for a programme and build a party that defends workers and their communities.

Council workers across the country will be asking when our union is going to link New Labour's attacks on pay, pensions and jobs into a national campaign to deliver not only national strike action but an electoral challenge.

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In The Socialist 8 March 2007:

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Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: First priority - a national demonstration

No divide and rule - save these hospitals


Socialist Party campaigns

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Kirklees - save our nurseries


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Socialist Party review

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International Women's Day

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Socialist Party campaigns

Socialist Party congress report (2)


International socialist news and analysis

Egypt: Strikewave shakes regime and state-run unions

Scotland - Solidarity conference


Workplace news and analysis

United action needed to defend Airbus jobs

Council workers ballot for city-wide strike

Uniting the battle against cuts and privatisation

A crucial time for Royal Mail pensions


 

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Related links:

Council workers:

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

triangleSurveying Labour councillors - will they fight cuts?

triangleBin workers vote to continue action following rally

triangleBron Afon workers strike against 3,000 pay cut

triangleBin workers stand firm

Southampton:

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: International women's day

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: The rise of Stalin

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: Building the Socialist Party in 2018

triangleSouthampton Socialist Party: Britain in 2018

Care workers:

triangleBrum care workers protest council attacks

triangleHome care workers to strike

triangleEnd poverty pay for sleep-in care workers

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