COUNCIL workers in Bromley, south London, are engaged in ten days of strike action to halt the privatisation of their services which threatens thousands of jobs.
The strikes begin today, June 10 and are to be completed by June 20. Council workers in the Unite union are out on strike for one day, five days and seven days, depending on which department they work for.
Unite said: ‘The Conservative-run council’s mission is to farm out most of its services to private companies.’ This would mean the sacking of some 3,700 workers, reducing the number of council employees to just 300, something which the council workers are fighting with a third wave of strikes.
Members at adult services and transport workers begin their strike today, June 10, and will be out until June 15. Library staff come out on strike on Saturday June 13 and will continue until June 20. Other council workers will be on strike on 16 June.
Unite said: ‘Members voted by 87 per cent to take strike action in protest over the mass privatisation programme, cuts to pay and conditions and the withdrawal of facility time from the Unite trade union representative.’
On Saturday residents of Bromley will take to the streets in mass opposition of the plans to privatise their local council services. The ‘People and Services First March’ is assembling at 12 noon at Norman Park, Bromley Common, Bromley, BR2 9EL.
With 14 of the council’s libraries among the services earmarked for privatisation, Bromley-based children’s author Sam Gayton said: ‘Libraries have given me so much, my imagination, my love of books, and my future career.
‘I am so grateful to them, and so angry that they might be taken away from future generations.
‘That is why I will be marching on Saturday 13 June. That is why I am standing up for Bromley public services.’
Unite regional officer Onay Kasnab said: ‘Bromley council’s mission to shrink local services to vanishing point will be challenged every step of the way. We will not stand by and let Bromley council’s blinkered right-wing ideology destroy the services that generations of Bromley residents have depended on.
‘We are urging Bromley residents to join the march on Saturday to support striking staff in their fight to stop the wholesale outsourcing of their services – the very future of their local services depends on it.’