Recently City Boss, Rodders (Rodney Berman, Leader of Cardiff Council - Ed.) has been trying to act the hard man facing down the unions. Berman is, of course, singular inappropriate to play the role of hard man as he doth more resemble a petulant child prone to temper-tantrums, but there is a nasty edge to the LibDem/Plaid Council and its attacks on council workers and trade unions: The petulant child is turning into a bully.
A few months ago it was the attempt to introduce a new tough regime for workers who dared to take time off sick, now it is the attempt to impose new shift patterns with no proper consultation.
Traditionally local refuse collectors have done a shift beginning at 7 am and wrapping up at 3 pm at the latest. But now the Council has taken a unililateral decision to change workers contracts and terms of employment, and replace shifts with two new shifts from 6 am to 2 pm, and 2 pm to 10 pm related to the introduction of new weekly food waste collections.
In response, to the failure to properly discuss these changes with the workforce, 90% of GMB members voted to stage a strike beginning on Monday. There seems no recognition from Cardiff Council that working from 2 pm to 10 pm would count as anti-social hours, especially if you have a family (ten minutes to see your kids at the breakfast table?!), and workers should receive a raise in wages accordingly. There also appaars be no recognition of the impact that such a radical change of working patterns might have, and the basic need to be led by workers representatives to facilitate any transition.
More disturbing is the report that our taxpayers money is going to be used by the LibDems and Plaid in Cardiff to pay for scab labour. Why not contact your local councillor to complain? We would also suggest putting signs on your rubbish saying, 'To be collected by GMB members only, Scabs don't touch!'
Left Alternative members and supporters of the People before Profit Charter will be sure to visit picket lines and workers to show support and solidarity for their just cause, for the workers united can never be defeated!