Pay cuts rejected: struggle may go city-wide

The struggle by council workers against pay cuts could go city wide, as the overwhelming majority of UNISONS 8,000 members have now voted to reject the Council's "pay modernisation" proposals.

So far, industrial action has only affected the cities manual workers in UNITE, who are engaging in a work to rule and overtime ban after rejecting a £4k pay cut. The dispute could soon widen to include every council department.

Much will depend on whether rank and file workers take the initiative, as both UNISON and UNITE have been criticised by their own members for failing to defend workers' interests.

Council bosses are resorting to thinly veiled threats - with Jenny Dawe stating in the Evening News that if changes are not agreed to, they will be imposed.

Phillip Barr, Head of Human Resources at the Council, wrote to Cleansing Workers:

“If we cannot get agreement with the trades unions, the only alternative is to impose changes through a legal process. We are now considering this approach, which has been followed by many other councils across Scotland and the rest of Britain.

“We will inform you and the trades unions next week of our future intentions” (letter posted Cleansing Depots around 9 November).

Sources have said that this will involve giving 90 day notice to change the contracts unilaterally, without any negotiation.

One council cleansing worker said, “If the council issue 90 day [redundancy] notices then the Unions in the Council should call an all-out strike across the board.

“It’s not only Edinburgh Council where this is happening, its other Councils too, in Leeds the cleansing workers are on all-out strike.

“I don't want any dialogue with the Council now, I think we should have one-day strikes, then consider moving to an all-out strike.”

Many council workers are angry that cuts are coming from the living standards of ordinary people - when council bosses, politicians, and wealthy bankers are retaining their fat salaries, pensions and expenses.

One worker said: “The council are talking about a 4–5 year pay freeze. But will the Council freeze the Council Tax? Will my rent be frozen? And what about the c***s at the Council on 100 grand a year? They should try living in the real world.”

Comments

The facts are if they take

The facts are if they take £6000 away from every year,i could ,sorry will become homeless .The binmen/women get £270 per week if these bastards get there way it will be £180 .It doesn't take Stephen Hawkins to work out that's f***ed up,in fact its immoral.And lets not forget this is all happening under a Labour Government back stabbing c***s.So the facts are i pay my mortgage or feed my kid ,so my wee one will getting feed every time ,its a no brainer.As for my so called Union (ushite) there so far in bed with these bastards i think they'll go through a civil partnership.