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Manchester staff back industrial action

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Unite members have voted in support of industrial action in protest to Manchester City Council’s cuts programme.

The union organised the consultative ballot after the authority announced that cuts in the grant from central government meant 2,000 jobs would to be cut.

Unite claim that, as many of the council employees work part-time or job-share, there could be up to 4,000 losses in total.

Unite National Officer for Local Authorities, Peter Allenson said: “The city council needs to take note that our members will not take the decimation of local government services lying down. This is not just a fight that affects our members and their jobs, but the wider Manchester community and what sort of local government services they wish to see in the years to come.”

The union asked members’ about their willingness to be balloted for some form of protest.

The results showed 67% of respondents would be in favour of all forms of action, including strikes. A further 82% said they would favour some form of demonstration short of a strike and 18% were against disruption in any form.

In total a fifth of the 1,024 Unite membership voted, which the union says is normal for this type of ballot.

The Labour-run council says they will need to cut 17% of their 10,000 person workforce, after being asked to find savings of £110m for 2011-2012.

The council say they want to avoid compulsory redundancies but the authority plans to implement the changes by the end of March.

  • Unite is set to protest in Rochdale on Wednesday in reaction to a plan that includes 750 job losses. Members will meet at the town hall as the borough council discusses how to make savings of £14m.
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