THE ‘New Local Government Network’ was warning yesterday of a ‘tsunami of a public sector recession’ after the next general election when the just elected government carries out ‘savage cuts’ in government expenditure, leaving local government with little option but to cut or close its services and impose steep charges for what remains.
The term ‘tsunami’ graphically illustrates what is in store, since the original devastated Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka and other states in the Indian Ocean area killing hundreds of thousands of people, and causing trillions of pounds of damage.
This is the ‘Network’s’ measuring scale for the financial disaster that lies ahead.
In fact, the Network is out of date. The ‘tsunami’ has already begun.
Yesterday, Royal Mail boss Crozier told the CWU to ‘shut up’, no doubt aping the conduct of one of his Royal Mail managers, so livid with anger was he at the resistance the union is showing to his plans.
These are to impose huge changes on the Royal Mail workforce, including massive redundancies, wage cutting and pensions busting, all leading up to a casualisation of the workforce that remains, and the privatisation of the remnants of the industry.
This is a tsunami, indeed.
At the same time, the South Yorkshire FBU has had to organise five strike actions against a fire authority that has threatened to sack over 740 firefighters unless they sign new contracts of employment.
Up and down the country fire authorities are making the same extremist, tsunami-like threats, to cut, close and sack, if the FBU does not accept ‘savage cuts’.
This gunboat diplomacy is spreading all over the country like a plague as the UK debt crisis deepens.
The NHS is threatened with the mass closure of district general hospitals and their replacement by privately run or owned polyclinics, or private treatment centres.
No wonder, last week, nurses were turning out to CWU picket lines to give their support.
The rail union, the RMT, revealed this week that the not-for-profit, state-run Network Rail has threatened to sack its entire maintenance workforce of 13,000, and to re-employ a much reduced number of workers on new terms and conditions to bulldoze through a multi-billion pound cuts package.
This is a threat to sack the workforce, who carry out the essential day-to-day maintenance of tracks, signals and overhead lines, to ensure the safety of the Network’s millions of passengers.
Network Rail has already said that they aim to get rid of 2,500 jobs, 1,800 permanent staff and 700 contractors, which amounts to nearly 20 per cent of the maintenance workforce.
If this is not a tsunami-style disaster then what is!
Every university is facing the debt crisis with thousands of jobs being axed.
The latest is the University of Bolton and its plan to axe 61 posts. UCU regional official for the North West, Martyn Moss, said: ‘Redundancies should always be a last resort.’
Yesterday the Unite trade union announced an industrial action ballot for all 14,000 BA cabin crew.
They face a boss, who on November 16th intends to impose new contracts of employment imposing wage and pension cuts, plus a two-tier labour force with all new starters on virtually half pay and half pension.
There is only one way to treat a bully or bullies and that is to stand up to them.
The whole public sector must come out alongside the CWU to take on Brown and Crozier. It must then go to the general council of the TUC and demand that it call a general strike to bring down the Brown government and bring in a workers government and socialism.