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From The Socialist newspaper, 6 February 2008


Hull youth workers save jobs

YOUTH WORKERS in Hull are celebrating after taking on hypocritical, incompetent management and winning a battle for their jobs.

Rob Rooney, Hull Socialist Party

Hull city council's slogan: "Hull - a family-friendly city where no child is left behind" looked sick last September, when 22 youth workers were told they were no longer needed.

These highly qualified, highly motivated people work with - and gain notable successes with - those at the top of the government's so-called "Respect" agenda: school non-attenders, drug users and young offenders.

But when the funding on their short-term contracts ran out, they (and the people they work with) were deemed surplus to requirements. It seemed a simple administrative matter to their bosses to get rid of them.

The managers reckoned without the workers' fighting spirit, fuelled by a sense of massive injustice and the guidance of three Unison shop stewards, two of them Socialist Party members.

An energetic campaign started, demanding that Hull city council should take on these workers, instead of their being at the mercy of short-term, unstable funding.

Council meetings and councillors' surgeries were lobbied. Appeals for support went out to everybody who benefited from the workers' projects. Every house in council leader Carl Minns' ward was leafleted. At every opportunity it was pointed out that, compared with 192 top council bosses sharing a 5.2 million pay rise last year, the 750,000 a year cost of taking on these workers was minimal.

Weekly meetings were held, where the workers discussed progress and tactics with their shop stewards. A hard core of around six kept attending, kept fighting, kept believing and Unison recruited many of the 22.

The first sign our pressure was having an effect came on 7 January. Councillor Minns met the workers and told them: "You have been let down by your managers... this should never have been allowed to happen." Two weeks later he was back with the good news: all 22 jobs saved and the workers to be taken "in-house" - total victory.

It's a small step when there are constant attempts at cuts and privatisation. But it shows what solidarity and a fighting attitude can do!

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In The Socialist 6 February 2008:

MPs' insult to low-paid workers

Their hands in our till

Protests as multinational grabs health centre

Rich avoid paying 25 billion tax bill

Why they call them 'fat cats'

War and terrorism

Bush and Brown's Afghan strategy lies in tatters

Socialist Party women

Fight attacks on abortion rights

Socialist Party news and analysis

Victory! Bristol campaign saves library

Victory! Hull youth workers save jobs

Inspiring victory for Polish workers

Fighting the BNP in Barnsley

Shell output is down, but profits hit new record

Young workers and Students

Young workers get organised

Protest against university fees

Refreshing student work in Bangor

International Socialist Resistance website

Socialist Students website

Environment and socialism

Incinerators: Our health at risk!

Stop the Anglesey nuclear time-bomb

Socialist Party debate

How can an alternative to the main political parties be developed?

International socialist news and analysis

Kenya: Workers' movement must provide an alternative

France: LCR votes to launch a new party

Workplace news

Birmingham: Thousands on strike against pay cuts

Workplace news in brief


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