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Posted on 1 April 2010 at 0:00 GMT

Waltham Forest: on march against redundancies

EVEN BEFORE the election, the axe is already falling on public services in some areas - including housing services in Waltham Forest, east London.

Compulsory redundancies could be imposed at Ascham Homes, an arms length management organisation.

Sarah Sachs-Eldridge

Jobs lost could include a surveyor specialising in asbestos hazards, staff supporting repairs teams and staff checking the accuracy of bills sent by private company Kier.

Unison members at Ascham Homes' office organised a march, hoping to link up with members of UCU lecturers' union who face 2 million of cuts at Waltham Forest College, where all staff are on notice of redundancy with a further 10 million of cuts or "efficiency" savings in the council budget.

Over 40 Ascham Homes Unison members marched to the town hall. Soaked by the driving rain, marchers stayed on the steps while Nancy Taaffe, the local Unison campaigns officer and Walthamstow general election candidate for the TUSC coalition, stopped councillors going into the council meeting to ask their opinion on the threatened cuts.

Some seemed blissfully oblivious of the plight of hard-working staff, but others clearly felt under pressure to commit to 'looking into' the situation.

Louise Thompson, chair of the tenants' council, spoke on the steps and pledged the support of tenants.

She argued that the council were clearly looking towards stock transfer of housing, privatisation in reality.

The protest shows there is anger among Ascham Homes workers and also a willingness to take action, which must now be built on.

It also showed that there is currently no councillor in the town hall that working class people can rely on to defend their vital services and jobs.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
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Related links:

Redundancies:

triangleTate workers on indefinite strike hold march and rally

triangleDebenhams: Fighting closures and redundancies

triangleWorkers' union and campaign group fights Derby Rolls-Royce job cuts

triangleDerby Socialist Party: Fight to save jobs

triangleCoordinated union struggle needed to save jobs and nationalise JCB

Waltham Forest:

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Building a political voice for the working class

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: The poll tax - how a mass movement won

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: China Rising? New world situation, new world order

triangleWaltham Forest Socialist Party: Trade unions in the era of Covid and capitalist crises

Council:

triangleNottingham City Council: The (mis)adventures of Robin Hood Energy

triangleGrenfell fire inquiry stops victims attending

triangleCaerphilly lockdown puts profits before safety

Unison:

triangleReinstate Tony Smith

triangleA critical election for Unison general secretary

Election:

triangleUCU: election victory for combative rank and file

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