TWO WEEKS – two meetings! The ‘Hackney alliance to defend public services’ has been formed. With 50 at each meeting from many unions and workplaces and community groups, a real buzz has developed to fight the cuts in Hackney.
Brian Debus joint chair, Hackney alliance
Over 3,000 leaflets in Turkish were distributed at the Day-Mer Festival (Turkish and Kurdish festival). By the second meeting, a draft bulletin had been produced. 3,000 will be printed and distributed in the next few weeks.
An arbitrary cut by the learning trust means subsidised nursery places have already been cut from 300 to 60. Teaching assistants have already lost their jobs at one school, with many more under threat. The community college faces yet more job cuts and course closures. Two dust trucks were removed from the waste round, putting more work on existing staff.
A refuse worker commented: “At Hackney waste depot around 30-40% of bin workers, sweepers and drivers are temps and most on minimum wage, most on day jobs. Temp workers are supposed to turn up at 5.30am and wait till 7.30am. If all regular workers turn up or too many temps arrive, people are sent back home without a job and unpaid – after having been employed at the depot for more than a year”.
Unless we fight now these conditions could face many more of us. These alliances will be crucial in deciding whether this government founders as Thatcher’s Tories did over the poll tax.