>

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Birmingham council strikes loom

Birmingham City Council has announced that £300 million will be cut from the budget over the next four years. This will involve the loss of 7,116 full time jobs, that is 37 per cent of the workforce, reports Bernie McAdam. The losses will increase to 10,000 when part time jobs are included. The Con Dem coalition Council will shed 2,450 this financial year and over 7,000 in the next three years.

Needless to say the job losses will significantly increase impoverishment in the area. It will devastate a whole range of services especially hitting the most vulnerable, including adult care and youth services. A new round of privatisation of Council services looms. In nearby Solihull, Unite organised a national march of 1,000 people protesting against cuts to youth services.

In response to these cuts and the rewriting of all non-education Council workers’ contracts, Unison has organised mass meetings. Over 3,000 workers unanimously voted for a ballot for strike action. Unison Assistant branch secretary Caroline Johnson noted ‘a sea change in the members’ mood’, as one passionate and inspiring speech after another was made to enraged mass meetings. Workers flocked to sign up for coaches going down to London for the TUC march.

Meanwhile Birmingham’s refuse workers have rejected the latest offer from the Council. On 12 January strikes were called off for talks, which Gerard Coyne, Unite regional secretary, described as ‘a sham’. Ninety five per cent of a workforce of 500 has seen through the delaying tactics of the Council and are prepared for more action. Union leaders are still holding out for more talks but refuse workers will need to follow Leeds bin workers’ example and take indefinite strike action. Otherwise draconian cuts of up to £4,000 in pay will follow.

JOIN THE DEMONSTRATION! UNITE TO STOP THE CUTS!
ASSEMBLE BIRMINGHAM CATHEDRAL, ST PHILIP’S PLACE, 12 NOON
SATURDAY 26 FEBRUARY

If you agree with this article, please join or donate
Send news, comments and reports to contact@workerspower.co.uk

Sign up for our Newsletter