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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2010

Strike ballot at Manchester Metropolitan University

Workers at Manchester Metropolitan University are continuing to fight 127 job losses, with their union Unison restarting the process of balloting for strike action. The ballot closes on 6 May with action likely to start one week later.

Following a 3:1 vote in favour of being balloted for strike, Unison began to carry this out. Then management threatened to get the ballot ruled illegal. This same management have refused to seriously negotiate, harassed union members, denied the union reasonable rights, banned it from discussing the strike on university premises, and rather than negotiate a sensible solution threatened to spend up to 100,000 challenging the strike ballot. Unison therefore decided to reballot.

Delegates to Unison's Higher Education conference in February roundly criticised the union's links with New Labour and overwhelmingly demanded a serious national industrial action strategy. Members are right to demand it but will have real doubts that, based on past performance, this leadership is capable of delivering.

We need leaders prepared to stand up to the employers and break the Labour link. We can make a start by voting for Socialist Party members in the current service group executive elections, and for Roger Bannister in the general secretary election from 17 May.

A Unison member at MMU

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