Bullying at the Council

Digbeth depot at a standstill this morning

Why does the Council allow a culture of bullying?

The city council is allowing hard working men and women to be subjected to a culture of bullying and intimidation in the work place. At the Tyseley Depot nearly 80 bin men signed a collective grievance against bullying managers, three of whom were suspended. Why does the Council indulge the bullies?

The Council allows the managers to subject the workers to a culture of bullying and intimidation because the Council is scared of its employees. The Council is scared of its employees because the Council is trying to push through unjustified, illogical cuts to pay, unfair alterations to working practices, terms and conditions, and attacks on the service provided to ratepayers. Bin men, like most workers are honest, hardworking, and reasonable. But if you push people too hard, attack their pay and conditions and drive their families into poverty you will find resistance. The Council hopes to quash any resistance through bullying and intimidation.

The reason for the attacks on services and workers has its origins in two places. Firstly, a capitalist crisis of overproduction, secondly the betrayal of the working class by the Labour Party Councillors at Birmingham City Council.

Capitalist Crisis

At the heart of the capitalist system is the contradiction that, to win the battle of competition, the capitalists need to cut wages and benefits to the working masses as much as possible, while producing and selling ever more goods at ever lower cost.

The relatively impoverished working masses, however, are unable to buy all these goods, resulting in a crisis of overproduction. Thousands of businesses go bankrupt and close. There are massive redundancies. Wages for those still in work go down. And this increase in poverty makes the crisis worse and leads to more of the same.

To “balance the books”, i.e., heap the cost of the crisis onto workers and not the rich, the Tory governments, with the tacit approval of the Liberals, Labour and others, have all gone along with the mantra of funding cuts, pay freezes etc.

Labour betrayal

Birmingham City Council, a Labour run Council is implementing these cuts. Well paid lackeys (managers) like Jacqui Kennedy who can earn between £97,000-£120,000 p/a are attempting to cut the wages of the bin men by £4,000-£6,000p/a. She does this because she is paid to do it. She is a mercenary and a class enemy.

The Council and its puppets like Jacqui are also trying to extend the four day working week to five days, increase the workload and squeeze every last drop of blood and sweat from the workers. They are instructed, aided and abetted by the Labour Party Councillors like Cabinet member for Clean Streets Lisa Trickett who gets a minimum of £41,000p/a in “allowances”. Lisa is in the Labour Party and heads the attacks on the bin men. She’s a shrewd politician who in her role as Cabinet member for Clean Streets has caused the biggest industrial dispute for years resulting in piles of stinking rubbish adorning the streets of Birmingham. What a success story. Like most politicians, Lisa thinks that she knows best, and she is unlikely to back down. Workers need to let Lisa know that they are opposed to the mess she is quite literally making. Email lisa.trickett@birmingham.gov.uk  to let her know your thoughts. Lisa holds a surgery every,

2nd Thursday of the month, 6.00 – 7.00pm

Moseley Exchange, Moseley Community Development Trust, The Post Office Building, 149 – 153 Alcester Road, Moseley, Birmingham, B13 8JP.

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