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Union bosses vow to 'shut the city down'
UNION bosses have vowed to “shut the city down” next month as their members became the latest to vote in favour of strike action.
GMB members voted three-to-one to join fellow public sector worker unions in a mass national strike on July 10 that is expected to affect the majority of council services.
Refuse workers, street sweepers and care staff are all expected to down tools for the day while midwives are also being consulted on strike plans.
Teachers, teaching assistants, school support staff, social workers, bailiffs, enforcement officers, museum and library staff, customer service staff are also set to work out.
Brighton and Hove union leaders said they are organising a march on July 10 involving in excess of 13,000 members which would shut both the city and council down.
GMB branch secretary Mark Turner said he hoped Brighton and Hove would host the biggest protest outside London.
The GMB results, announced yesterday from a turnout of 25%, follow on from the announcement earlier this week that members of the National Union of Teachers and Unison had voted in favour of strike action.
It is expected the day of public sector action will be the biggest in 30 years and could be the beginning of more lengthy strikes later in the year.
Mr Turner said the Government had brought the situation upon itself.
He said: “I have seen our usual opponents already criticising what the unions are doing but I don’t care a jot, we are doing this for our members.
“They are seeing an increase in the cost of living but pay is not going up.
“The average pay increase in the private sector is between 2.2% and 2.5% and yet public sector workers are being offered just 1%. We are looking to affect all services.”
Conservative councillors have urged union officials to call off the strike after figures revealed one in 12 Unison members nationally voted in favour of it.
Conservative Group Leader Geoffrey Theobald said: “This is hardly a resounding mandate for the union bosses to cause further disruption and inconvenience to the city’s residents.
“I have the utmost admiration for those care workers, school support staff and others who do incredibly demanding jobs but the harsh reality is that the public purse simply cannot afford larger pay rises.”
A council spokesman said earlier this week: “We are working hard to identify the extent of potential disruption to services.
“Parents should stay in contact with individual schools on how each one might be affected.
“There will be more detailed information on the council’s website nearer the time.”
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