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27 September 2002

Tube workers, London council workers...

Fight For A Living Wage

LONDON UNDERGROUND workers, firefighters, teachers, lecturers and council staff are some of the many thousands of workers either involved in strike action over pay or balloting to strike.

Mike Suter, UNISON Education and Culture convenor, Lewisham, personal capacity

Local government workers, members of UNISON, TGWU and GMB, throughout the 32 London boroughs will be striking on 1 October over our claim for 4,000 London Allowance.

The employers refused to give us a penny more, even though an independent report by the Greater London Authority showed we were 27% worse off than other London workers.

Carole Shaw, a Teaching Assistant at Myatt Garden school said: "Why should I not have the same London Allowance as the police, teachers or other London workers? I have to live in the same area, shop at the same shops, pay the same rent and council tax as everyone else. I am a teaching assistant and a meal supervisor, only able to work 25 hours per week. Like other people at my school I am forced to be part-time and low-paid."

At a meeting of UNISON members at Myatt Garden School we voted unanimously to strike. We are determined not to let our employers continue to treat us as second-class citizens.

The three unions have decided that the next step in the dispute will be selective action across London.

The first week of October will see parking/traffic wardens out on a week's strike, followed by finance staff (cashiers/ council tax officers etc) for a week, followed by libraries, school staff and refuse workers.

If this does not get the message across to the London employers we will be taking another one-day strike in November, possibly in the same week that teachers, lecturers, firefighters and tube workers will be taking action. Public sector workers are fed up with low pay and are fighting with a determination not seen in years.

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