Birmingham Labour Council to Sack 1000 Employees... UNISON to Support Them

26th October 2012

The Labour Council in Birmingham is considering cuts of up to £120 million for the next financial year, according to a press release issued by UNISON on Tuesday. Cuts that could mean the loss of up to 1,000 jobs and the destruction of services provided by those workers.

What is the response of the leadership of my union to this threat to its members? To mobilise the community and workforce in a mass campaign to defeat these cuts? To threaten to withdraw union funding (including the subs of the very workers threatened with the sack) from Labour unless it defends our members' interests?

No. Exactly the opposite! UNISON is going to work with the Labour Council and jointly approach Eric Pickles on bended knee, for more money to "..to try to minimise the impact of these bigger than expected budgets cuts." Inspiring stuff! Are they going to help the council decide which of our members jobs to cut first?

UNISON's leadership blames the cuts on the previous Lib-Dem authority and the Lib-Dem government in Westminster for the cuts but instead of enthusiastically working towards organising a 24hour general strike to bring this government down, their approach is to ask that insect Pickles for fair play.

Elsewhere on UNISON's website, members are asked to sign a petition requesting Cameron and his cabinet of millionaires re-think their economic strategy.

Petitions to our class enemy will not save our members' jobs in Birmingham or anywhere else. Neither will justifying Labour councils carrying through Tory cuts.

Only a fight mobilising our members at a local and national level can do that. If UNISON would add its weight to UNITE and unions campaigning for a general strike, PCS, RMT, POA, then we build such a movement that will bring this government to its knees. For that we need to reclaim our union and give it a fighting democratic leadership.

A UNISON steward
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