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From The Socialist newspaper, 17 February 2016

Library workers prepare to escalate strike action

A Unite member

Unite members in Greenwich and Bromley are escalating the libraries' campaigns in both boroughs following recent strike action which launched a joint campaign.

In Bromley the Tories are handing six libraries over to Community Links who will run libraries with unpaid volunteers replacing paid, professional staff. The remaining libraries will be handed over to a private company.

So far, the council is refusing to say who has made a bid. Unite will now target our campaign at Community Links to persuade them to pull out - and when we get the identity of the privateers, they too will be targeted.

In Greenwich, there will be two lobbies of the Labour council in the coming weeks. Attempts will be made to persuade Greenwich Labour members to support the campaign - so far an appeal to Greenwich Momentum has fallen on deaf ears.

The council is conducting a 'public consultation.' Judging by the 1,000 plus signatures gathered on the picket lines, the response from the public will be to oppose the closure. Unite has issued a clear warning - should the council ignore the protests and strikes, there will be further escalated strike action.

Unite is making a call to all those opposing library closures to unite in a coordinated campaign. This can start in south London, where campaigners and unions in Lewisham and Lambeth are also fighting to defend libraries.

A public meeting bringing all four borough campaigns together, alongside campaign group Stand Up For Libraries and the National Shop Stewards Network, could launch a London trade union-led campaign.

Since the Tories came into government, over 400 libraries have closed. Families relying on food banks and benefits and those on low incomes cannot buy books and many will not have internet at home.

One campaigner said: "Libraries facilitate a collective social conscience - library closures lead to collective, social dementia".

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In The Socialist 17 February 2016:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Councils have a choice: no cuts to jobs or services

Junior doctors must stand firm

300 million to cushion cuts in Tory councils

Scotland: battle heats up against council cuts

US fears EU exit will hinder vulture privatisers

Liverpool fans score victory v 77 ticket hike

Record-high 170 evictions a day

Boycott ban

Them & Us


Socialist Party feature

An open letter to John McDonnell from Tony Mulhearn


International socialist news and analysis

Irish election: fighting on an anti-austerity agenda


Socialist Party youth and students

Socialist Students conference 2016: Delegates enthusiastic and confident


Socialist Party workplace news

Doctors' strike 10th February - photos and reports

Rally to defend jobs in Northern Ireland: "We won't sit on the sidelines"

Library workers prepare to escalate strike action

Historic joint further education strike

Public meetings show readiness of workers to fight back

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Hands off the Butterfields estate!

Sheffield no-cuts People's Budget conference

Southampton: absence of Corbynism as Labour swings Tory axe again!

"Staines has never seen anything like it!"

Students, unions and parents unite to save Pent Valley School

"You can cut the cake but not our libraries!"

London lobbies against cuts to jobs and services


Readers' comments and reviews

If I had been in 1980s Labour, I'd have supported Militant

Socialist's anti-war art on show in Bradford

Poem: Journey

Letter: Brum Blairite


 

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