The Council workers are striking against threatened cuts in pay and the imposition of new, inferior contracts of employment. The hospital workers are taking action to force their employer, a contractor called Medirest, to honour a pay agreement.
The City Council dispute is turning into a major test of the ConDems' ability to cut public spending and are a precursor to the coming attack on public sector pensions.
On 30th June, hundreds of thousands of public sector workers, teachers and civil servants, are striking for one day.
It is vital that all of the struggles are linked. At the moment local union branches are fighting in isolation, and the national action on the 30th does not include workers in local government and the health service.
It is also extremely important that links are made between the attacks on workers' jobs, pay and conditions, and the cuts in services. Unions need to work with local anti-cuts groups so that the bosses and the politicians cannot drive a wedge between workers and the local community.
The Southampton Council dispute is a major test of the ability of the government and their local proxies to get through the cuts and policies which will so fundamentally change public services - and not for the better!
It is in all our interests to support the resistance being put up by the workers in Southampton.
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