Wednesday, July 04, 2007

UNISON Housing Staff Vote for Strike Action: Jack Dash smiles on…

Today there was a joint union meeting of Tower Hamlets staff who work in the 12 local estates based housing offices. The meeting was to discuss management proposals to transfer the 20,000 remaining Council owned properties in the borough to an ALMO - Arms Length Management Organisation (Bad or Good). In doing so they also want to cut the number of offices down to 4, probably making staff compulsory redundant, also all existing staff to be re-interviewed and tested for their jobs and possibly open offices from 8am to 8pm, Monday to Friday and Saturday morning.

Not surprisingly, staff voted unanimously to reject such proposals and to consider strike action if negotiations fail (see photos). Many residents are also up in arms about the proposals to close their local offices. UNISON national and local policy is opposed to ALMO. Further consultation with management is due to take place next Wednesday.

The meeting was held in the old Council Chamber of “Jack Dash House” in the Isle of Dogs. Jack was a well known Communist docker trade union leader. As you can see there are murals on the walls of the Council Chamber, showing Jack “in action”. Jack was proud that he was active in every London Dock’s strike from 1945 to 1969. In his retirement he was a London tourist guide and pensioners’ activist. He died in 1989.

No doubt Jack was a committed atheist. However, I am sure if he found that he had got things wrong on the religious front, he would have negotiated himself out of trouble by now with the big boss. He would also be urging us on, from up above, to have a proper East End “row” with our own governors.
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