The following statement summarises just a few of the comments and recommendations made this week by Jacqui Kennedy and Stella Manzie in their public report to the Council Cabinet meeting.
The Birmingham branch of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist) urges ALL bin men, their families, and Birmingham residents and workers to read the report in full. This report is merely the PUBLIC report. This report only scratches the surface. The PRIVATE report no doubt deals in detail with exactly how Labour Councillors have given £311,000 per week to private capitalists and scabs in an effort to break the strike by Birmingham bin men. It is hidden from view to hide the hideous truth of their criminal squandering of public money.
Our Party, a Party of experienced communist men and women, trade unionists and workers, devoted to the advancement of our class, sincerely hopes that the jubilant proclamations of victory by the union are well founded, but it is better to acquaint ourselves with the facts as they stand and prepare for the worse if we genuinely strive for the total victory of the workers and a just settlement in this business. The content of the report by Kennedy and Co is to be discussed 1st September at the Council meeting. If a new attack upon the workers is made, we must be ready to respond.
As the vast majority of bin men suspected, and as the Birmingham CPGB-ML cautioned, Birmingham city council and it’s Labour lieutenants have honey on their lips and murder in their hearts.
This public report, clearly states that, despite the public pronouncements from ACAS and Unite, the chiefs at the City Council recommend pushing ahead full steam with the attack on the bin men:
“That the Cabinet note the recommendations below and consider them in the light of the accompanying private report.
“2.1 Endorse progression and implementation of the decisions taken by Cabinet 27th June 2017 for the re organisation of the waste management service and the next stages including issuing the redundancy notices to the 106 employees (in 113 posts) currently designated as Grade 3 Leading Hands.
“2.2 Note the impact of the disruptive industrial action by the Unite union including disruption and inconvenience to the public and additional costs to the Council and the public.
“2.3 Note the operational plans in place to maintain refuse collection at reduced frequency, clear up side waste and clear any backlog.”
Furthermore the Council report announces:
“4.2.4 There are additional costs associated with the contingency plans that have been put in place in response to the industrial action. The estimated weekly costs have ranged between £21,000 per week in the early stages of the industrial action in July to the current weekly estimate of £311,000 as external contractors have been mobilised (the details are set out in a separate schedule in the Private Report). This will be an additional pressure on the Council’s finances for 2017/18. …
“5.1 The key organisational changes in the Refuse and Waste service, proposed in the June 27th Report were as follows:
- The removal of compressed working hours with all employees working a 5 day 7.3 hours per day 36.5 working hour week rather than 4 days at 9.133 hours per day
- Removal of the Leading Hand role on Refuse Collection Grade 3 (113 posts)
- Operationally the separation of commercial and domestic collections onto separate vehicles and crews where it practicable to do so, thereby enabling domestic and trade waste operational resources and costs to be ring – fenced.
“The location of the start and finish points for each or any collection round will be across any of the Council depots and employees will be asked to work flexibly from any of the depots and employees will be asked to work flexibly from any of the depots as the business requirement demands. These changes are consistent with all employees on the Birmingham Contract …
“5.27 On 16th August an ACAS statement was issued as a result of discussions between the Leader, Unite and ACAS.
“Birmingham City Council and Unite the Union have today made sufficient progress in their talks for the Shop Stewards to pause industrial action. Birmingham City Council cabinet members have agreed in principle that the grade 3 posts will be maintained. Consequently there are no redundancy steps in place. In addition the parties will now look to discuss, through ACAS, how the service can be improved, with the intention of improving efficiencies in performance of the bin collection service generally, including what savings can be made, and specifically how best the current Grade 3 roles can now be maintained and developed so that they take forward the ambition to deliver cleaner streets and align to wider Total Place principles. Unite have also agreed in principle to recommend to their members work pattern changes, including consideration of a 5 day working week. Both parties agree the working week should be designed to maximise service delivery. To assist in the resolution of outstanding issues both parties will go to ACAS. These discussions will be with the intention of incorporating any agreement as an amendment to the Waste Management Service Cabinet Report in September 2017.Both parties are pleased to be recommencing industrial relations and pleased that the bin collection can resume without disruption.
“5.27 Later that day Unite issued a further statement:
“‘Unite, the country’s largest union, today (Wednesday 16 August) said that it has achieved victory in the Birmingham bin dispute which will result in the suspension of the current industrial action.
“‘The union said that the city council had accepted the refuse workers’ case and restored the grade 3 jobs, which are responsible for the safety at the rear of the refuse vehicles.
“‘Normal collection of bins will resume, as Unite and the city council hold further talks under the auspices of the conciliation service, Acas to resolve the outstanding issues.’
“‘The council has addressed our members’ concerns, including the safeguarding of the grade 3 post that is vital to the safety at the rear of the refuse vehicles. Unite also welcomes the fact that our suspended rep is now returning to work’
“5.28 The Council issued the following statement:
“‘The Acas statement in connection with the Waste and Refuse dispute does not represent the Council’s position until these matters are considered at the Council’s Special Cabinet Meeting on 24th August 2017. The decision on the waste reorganisation taken by Cabinet on 27th June is still the current position of the Council.’
“5.29 While productivity is still extremely low there does seem to have been a limited return to work from the Unite members. However given uncertainty about the ACAS discussions the Corporate Director of Place has continued to operate the contingency arrangements in place already, to assist in the catch up. There has been a request for overtime from the operatives, which has been refused. ”
Birmingham workers, you can see what proposals Jacqui Kennedy and her political bosses in the Labour Party make. Fight until the victory.
It’s CLASS AGAINST CLASS. Victory to the working class!