Angry Haringey

10 June 2004

Press officers from Haringey Council have ended their strike after negotiating improved severance pay from management. Thanks to everyone who offered support.

Picket a Haringey Council meeting on Monday 22 March at 6.30pm at the Civic Centre, High Road, Wood Green, London N22.

This is the first day of a strike by five members who worked in Haringey Council press office and who were locked out and sacked last month.

The NUJ marked International Women's Day by holding a demonstration outside Haringey Civic Centre on Monday 8 March, in support of five press officers recently locked out by the council. The event was attended by women members of the NUJ working in a wide range of media. They handed out leaflets to staff, wearing purple sashes to emulate the fight over the years by women activists.

Haringey picket on International Women's Day 2004
Haringey picket on International Women's Day - photo © 2004 Henry Jacobs

NUJ members, Haringey residents, local trade unionists and Labour Party members had earlier convened on the steps of Haringey Council Civic Centre on Friday 27 February.

The press officers had been due to take industrial action - until the council made threats to take legal action as they would not recognise a strike as lawful. The council alleged that it did not recieve a sample ballot from the union as required under current labour legislation. Jeremy Dear, NUJ General Secretary said, "The NUJ complied with the statutory requirements in respect of the ballot notice and therefore the proposed action is not unlawful. The [Labour Relations] Acts require this union to take such steps as are reasonably necessary to ensure that the relevant parties receive the statutory information. The NUJ did this, sending the notice and ballot paper by post."

Demonstrators focused on the record of Haringey Council which organises events to coincide with International Women's Day. But the standards at Haringey are nothing if not double. On the one hand the Council prides itself on giving certificates to worthy women in the borough, while with the other it flouts trade union rights. Recently the Council stopped the rights of staff to take time off to care for sick dependants - mostly exercised by Haringey's women staff - and was instead left at the discretion of departmental managers.

NUJ General Secretary, Jeremy Dear says, "Today, nearly one hundred years on, a Labour Council still thinks it can throw people out on the street without the slightest regard for workers' rights or agreed procedures.

"Haringey Council will have their own celebration but they will sound hollow and phoney as they continue to sack their staff and deny them the most elementary rights."

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Last modified: 10 June 2004 - © 2004 contributors
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