Thursday, 19 May 2011

The desire for industrial action grows

As public and workers anger gains momentum there is evidence to suggest that the want and desire to take industrial action is becoming more and more common place in the workplace in the public sector certainly.

almost half the population supports strikes over public sector cuts. And a survey of 2,000 nurses and midwives in the trade union Unison showed that almost three-quarters are prepared to take industrial action to protect their pensions.

This is sad as Unison one of the most labour party friendly unions who seems to tie itself firmly to labour and will sell out its members at any opputunity it would seem. For example in East Herts

A STAFFING agreement which will eventually save Herts County Council £10.7m a year has been formally approved by authority members.

After endorsing the collective agreement with employees’ union UNISON about changes to terms and conditions, Cllr David Lloyd, executive member for resources and performance, said: "Despite the tough economic conditions we are facing, Herts County Council is determined to continue to provide the high quality services our residents rely on.

"We have already put into place efficiency measures that will save the council £135m over the next four years, but we need to do more in order to safeguard frontline services. Changes to our employment package, including the way we pay staff for sick leave, will generate substantial savings for the county.

“Our intention throughout has been to make any changes with the support of UNISON, so the final successful round of talks and resultant agreement is a really positive step. Both the council and UNISON believe that this agreement provides a responsible balance between the need to find savings and protect jobs and frontline services.

"This has been a difficult time for staff and we have tried to involve them throughout the process. We really appreciated their input and some of the suggestions made by employees have been included in the final package."

Changes will take effect from April 1 2012 and will be contractually binding for about 24,000 employees, including those based in schools. The £10.7m savings comprise £6.8m from the non-school staff pay bill and £3.9m from schools and will take full effect from 2013/14.

This further suggests unison are there to sell out their members and take pay cuts and cuts to sick pay laying down. How pathetic. Yet there is increasing pressure from below from workers who want to take action. As we near 30th june there will be huge pressure from rank-and-file members to take action and join the strike on that day. It is key that pressure is put on the leaders of the TUC and unison to buckle and allow their members to ballot for strike action if they so wish to. Denying them this right and holding them back or simply selling them out on their behalf is totally wrong and we must condemn unison on this decision here.

But there is evidence within the various surveys taht workersa re getting angry and do want to fight back the cuts. This is excellent news but they need to find a way to express this to their trade union leaders at the top to either act now or be removed.

There is a distinct feeling in the air i feel of a fight back on the horizon from individaul workers. Whether it comes to anything or not remains to be seen. I think 30th june will be a big barometer on where this movement is heading and if it is gaining enough momentum to take it into the autumn.

But let there be no doubt about it workers will not settle for sell outs and cuts they will want to fight if they can.

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