Plymouth’s Conservative City Council are pursuing an unprecedented scorched earth policy, officially de-recognising Britain’s biggest public sector union in a battle over pay and conditions. In what has been described as a “completely disproportionate” move, Unison representatives have been told to “vacate their offices” after they refused to sign up to what they say are discriminatory changes to terms and conditions.
Despite representing the largest group of council employees, Unison will not be consulted in future collective bargaining with the council, who had already threatened to make 400 people redundant if the deal was not signed. Council bosses are looking to slash £18m from staff, overtime and expenses.
Having adopted hardline tactics which will remind many of union busting in Wisconsin, cabinet member Ian Bowyer (pictured above with leader Vivien Pengelly) looked to lecture council workers on what was good for them:
“We believe it is not in the interests of the workforce to continue our relationship with Unison.”
With Unison members having already voted — and approved — an agreement, the Tory executive stand accused of moving the goalposts to introduce terms which union lawyers warned had “serious equality impact issues”.
It seems some Tories haven’t lost their taste for union busting.