Monday 9 November 2009

Unite to stop the pay cuts!

Unison in Brighton and Hove is fully in support of our GMB comrades who start a week's strike action tomorrow at Cityclean. Unison members face the same attacks themselves. In fact when the full impact of the council's proposals is known, we will have more members affected.

But there is a danger that workers will end up squabbling with each other about who does the most difficult and worthwhile jobs. There have been signs of this on the Argus online discussions.

We need to be saying that a the work of the (mainly but not exclusively male) Cityclean workers is just as important as the work of (mainly but not exclusively female) teaching assistants. The people of the city rely on both of these groups of workers We also need to reject the employers' constant depiction of certain jobs as "unskilled".

Equal pay legislation was meant to lift low-paid women workers up to a decent level of pay, but instead the employers are using it to level downwards - a complete perversion of the law's intent.

This the fight we need to be having.

UPDATE Monday - the strike is solid and the depot was heavily picketed today. We will see whether the Council will start to negotiate sensibly.

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