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From The Socialist newspaper, 12 December 2018
Hull council workers fight to protect sick pay
Hull council workers protesting to protect their sick pay, December 2018 (Click to enlarge)
Mick Whale, Hull Socialist Party
Workers for Kingstown Works Ltd (KWL) in Hull have started a campaign to protect their sick pay scheme with a lobby of Hull North constituency Labour Party (CLP). KWL is the old 'direct works' of Hull City Council, responsible for maintaining the city's housing stock.
It is now a Hull City Council wholly owned company, a step towards privatisation. Hull councillors sit on the management board and, scandalously, support the attack on the workers' conditions.
Deputy leader of the council, Darren Hale, has represented the KWL management on local radio and at times sounded more like a corporate boss justifying the race to the bottom than a Labour councillor. He spoke about the need to make "efficiencies" and implied that the current sick pay scheme was better than what most workers in Hull enjoy. This sort of language is used by the bosses to justify the 'race to the bottom'.
Hale went on to attack the GMB union, claiming that they did not represent the whole workforce. Hale should be ashamed of trying to divide the workforce by playing one union off against another.
BBC interviewer James Piekos reminded Hale that earlier in the year, he had stood on a picket line demanding that FCC (a private company that handles waste recycling in the city) give their workers a decent sick pay scheme. Yet here he was, six months later, attacking his own workforce's sick pay.
The lobby was upbeat with 40 workers taking part. Flags of council unions GMB, Unite and Unison were flying, giving the lie to the idea that it was just the GMB. To its credit, North Hull CLP allowed a speaker into the meeting and gave the workers a big round of applause.
The hope now is that management will back down. But if they don't, the workers are clear that the campaign will escalate.
If KWL management, together with the city council and wider labour movement, were to campaign against the cuts and austerity, they could build a mass campaign for the resources Hull desperately needs.
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In The Socialist 12 December 2018:
What we think
Tory chaos reaches fever pitch
National Union of Students faces bankruptcy
Tories' NHS cash insult - mass action can save our NHS
Cuts and NHS crisis result in 'excess' elderly deaths
Corbyn supporter wins Welsh Labour leadership
Worldwide threat to journalists at worst for ten years
Universal Credit Christmas misery
Tommy Robinson's rich backers
Strike action saves jobs at Cammell Laird shipyard
Select Chris Baugh as Left Unity AGS candidate
Spontaneous hull walkouts stick two fingers up at Tory anti-trade union laws
Hull council workers fight to protect sick pay
Veolia waste workers vote for action in Cheshire
Workplace news in brief
France in revolt
John Maclean - revolutionary fighter of the working class
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Women's Lives Matter national meeting - a determination to fight cuts to domestic violence services
'Stansted 15' - outrageous guilty verdict
Socialist Students LJMU victory
Jobs and homes not racism - kick the Tories out!
Give us a bumper Christmas cash boost!
New twist in Derby TUSC election agent case
Obituary - Beth Roper (1990-2018) - comrade, friend and fighter
The Socialist quiz of 2018
The Socialist 12 December 2018 |
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