On 13, 14 and 17 August Tower Hamlets council workers will strike again to defeat the “Tower Rewards” attack on their terms and conditions. 17 August will be their ninth strike day since the start of July.
According to Tower Hamlets Unison, two thirds of the workforce have refused to sign the new, inferior contracts, despite all kinds of management lies and bullying, including threats of sacking. The Tower Hamlets workers have run an energetic, determined campaign, generating enthusiastic support from their community and from bottom to top of the labour movement. The notable exception has been the people with the most power to help them — Keir Starmer’s Labour leadership. Starmer fobbed off Labour’s NEC, saying he would look into the situation.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis has written an open letter to Tower Hamlets mayor John Biggs attacking “Tower Rewards”, saying he “fully support[s]” the decisions taken by his members and flagging up the “potential” for a reballot.
However. the national Unison leadership is not a reliable ally of any group of workers in struggle. It is still not clear if it will allow the Tower Hamlets workers to reballot when their current strike mandate under the anti-union laws expires on 22 August.
• More info and resources at Tower Hamlets Unison site here