Local government strike action imminent warns TGWU

The
Transport and General Workers Union has told local government employers to
settle or face a strike.

Bill
Morris, general secretary of the union, said: "The clock is ticking fast
towards the first national strike in local government for 23 years."

Morris
was addressing delegates at the T&G’s Irish Conference in Newcastle as
T&G members in local councils across Northern Ireland, England and Wales

are
voting on whether to strike.

He
said: "It is a scandal against those who run our public services that
today – in the 21st century – we have over 275,000 workers in local government
earning less than £5 an hour. It is to the employers’ shame that the bulk of
those earning less than £5 an hour are exploited women workers."

He
said he is determined to call an immediate strike if the vote is ‘yes’ which
will lead to a summer of disruption to local services.

"Let
me make it clear, as soon as the last ballot paper is counted, I shall give the
authority for industrial action. There will be no cooling-off period, no deals
in smoke-filled rooms and no compromise in our determination to end poverty pay
in local government.

"My
message today from this conference to the employers is this – there can be no
partnership in poverty. Our claim is just and must be met."

By Quentin Reade

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