Southampton Unison strike against council redundancies

Submitted by AWL on 25 February, 2003 - 12:02

Southampton District Unison branch held a one-day strike on Wednesday 19 February. Additionally, council workers have withdrawn the use of their cars for council business and are refusing to drive hire cars or council cars-visits to clients' and tenants' homes are by taxi or public transport. They are not covering unfilled posts.

The action is against proposed council budget cuts that could lead to 70 redundancies, an additional 50 posts scrapped, and a reduction in working conditions.

Mick Tucker, Unison branch secretary, said: "The overwhelming vote to throw out the council's budget cuts, linked to the vote in the industrial action ballot, demonstrates how strongly council employees reject our employer's proposals. We all need to act together to deliver effective industrial action which will secure jobs and safeguard working conditions."

At lunchtime on Wednesday, workers held a rally outside the civic centre as the council began their budget setting meeting. The centre is on an island, and anyone on the inside looking out would have seen a convoy of council vehicles-dustcarts and vans-circling them as part of the protest. At the rally, one Labour councillor vowed to oppose the budget that has been set by the Labour leader and cabinet.

Unison will meet next week to consider their next moves.

Representatives of 60,000 Unison local government members in southern England have voted a motion of support to Southampton District branch.

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