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STRIKE BALLOTS IN BATTLE OVER PFI PAY

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Strike ballots for 160,000 workers in companies that run public services are to be launched today by the GMB union,...
Strike ballots for 160,000 workers in companies that run public services are to be launched today by the GMB union, reported The Observer (Business, p2).

In a move that will increase tension over the use of private contractors running local government and other public services, the GMB is to ballot over the two-tier workforce, where wages and conditions differ for public and private sector employees in similar jobs.

The union, along with Unison, is also leading a revolt against the private finance initiative, which could lead to defeat for the government at next month's Labour Party conference. The unions, backed by the Transport and General Workers' Union, have called for a moratorium on PFI and for a 'fair wages' clause.

The three unions secured pay rises last month worth between 7.6% and 10.9% for local government workers. The GMB has written to 20 private contractors, including Capita, Onyx and Jarvis, demanding they match the rises. The GMB gave the companies until last Friday to respond. None did so.
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