Council unions in Coventry stage protest against cuts and in support of pay claim

Council unions in Coventry stage protest against cuts and in support of pay claim

Members of Unison, GMB and Unite outside the Council House today

Members of Unison, GMB and Unite outside the Council House today

By a council worker

Members of Unison, GMB and Unite working for Coventry City Council today held a lunchtime protest against continuing cuts and to build support for the 2014/15 pay claim.

The protest was part of a national day of action organised by the three unions with many similar actions taking place around the country.

Over recent years council workers, 75 per cent of whom are women, have seen huge real term drops in our pay, as the cost of living has continued to rise. We have had our pensions attacked, and face the constant threat of redundancy. The cuts that are taking place not only have an impact on those who work for the council, but crucially those who rely on key public services.

The protest today took place just weeks before Coventry City Council, which is Labour run, will vote to implement even more of these cuts from central government. Pressure needs to be put on these councillors to resist the Tories, not do their dirty work.

As a start, nationally (and locally) the three unions need to start demanding from Labour run Local Authorities that they should refuse to pull the trigger on local services on behalf of the Tories.

Activists within the unions need to build pressure from below to ensure that the union leaderships  forcefully pursue the pay claim this year – which includes preparing the membership for the need for industrial action if the Local Government employers do not come back with a satisfactory offer. Our members are struggling to survive, with some having to visit Foodbanks to get by. That is not acceptable and needs to be properly challenged!

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