Unite members take action at Hackney Council

taxi signTaxi drivers taking disabled children to schools and play clubs are today on strike over plans by Hackney Council to cut their pay by 50%.

Another separate strike involving Unite passenger transport members in Croydon, who also transfer disabled children, has been called on 16 April at Impact, the private company which runs passenger transport services for the council.

Impact is refusing to negotiate a pay claim made by Unite which proposes that the company pay all its workers, at least, the London ‘living wage’ which is currently £9.15-an-hour.  The vote was 92 per cent in favour of strike action.

The disputes come against a backdrop of the launch a Fair Deal For Local Government campaign by Unite’s London and Eastern region which has almost 300,000 members. The campaign is aimed against privatisation and austerity in local government.

The campaign is a set of proposals that Unite is putting to councils in the region. It is a procurement strategy to ensure that quality services are maintained and that there is no ‘race to the bottom’ for pay and conditions post any transfer.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Our overall campaign calls for a Fair Deal For Local Government and these two separate strikes are vivid, living, breathing examples of why our campaign is so important.

“We regret that disabled children will be inconvenienced by Thursday’s strike, but if we don’t draw a line in the sand now, future cuts will be even worse. Councils should not be jumping to the Tories’ tune of privatisation and austerity – the public good should always come first.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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