Thursday, June 9, 2011

Crawley taxpayers bankrolling Southampton Tories' union bashing


The strike action by Unison and Unite members against the City Council's massive attack on their pay and conditions has reached a critical phase.

So it was quite a surprise to hear on the BBC News tonight that Tory-controlled Crawley Borough Council has made a low-interest loan of £5 MILLION to its Tory friends at Southampton City Council. It was clearly a surprise to opposition councillors (who are asking a lot of questions), and to the council taxpayers of Crawley.

Given that the union action at Southampton is directed at the council's revenue-raising powers, Crawley Council's "loan" looks a lot like a donation to its strike fund!

Of course, if the workers at Crawley Council were to strike in sympathy with their colleagues in Southampton, this would be regarded as unlawful "secondary action".

Unison Branch Secretary Mike Tucker reports

On Monday 13 June, 70 UNISON / UNITE members working as street cleaners will start a 7 day strike. They will join 170 UNISON / UNITE members already on strike, 40 Parking Enforcement, 20 Itchen Bridge Toll Collectors and 110 Refuse Collectors. The 13th June will be the one day that all four sections will be on strike. Also on 13 June, 250 Cleaners working for Medirest at Southampton General Hospital start a 7 day strike.

To mark the day all 5 strikes are taking place, a joint UNISON / UNITE march is being held on 13 June, starting from 12.30 p.m. Hoglands Park, marching to the Civic Centre. Support from outside Southampton is more than welcome.

The Conservative controlled Council have called on UNISON to call off the action short of strike in Children's Social Care due to the effectiveness of not covering vacant posts, non-use of cars and working to contract. The Council is having to spend £40,000 a week on taxis in the Children's Contact Centre alone. UNISON members in Children's Social Care have reacted angrily at the suggestion and are determined to carry on with the industrial action. See our Branch web site for more information on the use of agency social workers. Also the web site of the Southern Daily Echo. No date has been fixed for talks with ACAS. The Council are now offering 16 June.

Our dispute is reaching a crucial stage. We need financial support, also support on our picket lines and at the demonstration on 13 June.

Best wishes

Mike Tucker
UNISON National Executive Council Member /
Branch Secretary
UNISON Southampton District Branch
e-mail: or

Joint UNISON / UNITE Demonstration
Monday 13 June
12.30 p.m. Hoglands Park
March to the Civic Centre for Rally

Thanks to Peoples' Republic of Hove for this

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