Feeds

Bin men walk out in support of Swansea IT strike

Council services 'deteriorating'

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Tensions in Swansea intensified yesterday after bin men and other staff walked out in support of striking IT workers opposed to the privatisation of their department.

Union officials from Unison stepped up their industrial action at the council's main buldings and depots asking workers not to cross picket lines set up for the day. As a result, refuse collection and the council's transport fleet depots shut down. Striking IT workers reported that a number of council workers also refused to turn up to work, with just a "small minority" of staff reporting for duty at County Hall and Swansea's Guildhall.

No one from the council was available to comment on the scale of yesterday's disruption, which some sources claim brought services to a virtual halt.

Speaking to the BBC, councillor David Phillips, leader of the opposition Labour group, acknowledged that council services were "deteriorating" as more and more workers joined the strike.

"Looking at the car park today there are clearly not many staff in work. Refuse collection workers have also gone on strike and I hear rumours that other workers are considering similar action. The situation is clearly deteriorating," he said.

The 100 IT workers on strike also claim that the council has tried to "gag" its website and used outside contractors to keep systems going.

Said one IT worker: "We've been attempting to get our point across to management for the best part of a year. Not only have they failed to listen, but now they're preventing us from getting our point across to our colleagues, many of whom are fearful that if ICT is outsourced, they could be next in line.

"The response we got [yesterday from council staff] was incredible. Perhaps management might like to change their 'it's been business as usual' statement. It is clear that this is an issue about which many council staff, outside of the ICT Department, feel very strongly."

No one from the council was available for comment at the time of writing. However, in a statement yesterday the council's assistant chief exec, Michelle Morris, said: "We very much regret the decision the union has taken in calling on its members to take unofficial action by not crossing picket lines established by IT staff involved in an official industrial dispute with us. By calling for this action, Unison has put our staff in a very difficult position. The council is doing all it can to minimise any interruption in services to the people of Swansea which may occur because of this unofficial industrial action."

On Monday, 100 IT staff at Swansea Council began indefinite industrial action over plans to outsource the local authority's IT department to a private firm. Some 20 sytems - including social services, benefits and payroll - have been hit by the action, although the council has pledged to keep its services going with support from "external experts".

Two companies - ITNET and Capgemini - have been shortlisted to take on the council's IT division and help implement its Service@Swansea e-government initiative designed to create a one-stop-shop for council services. ®

Related stories

Swansea IT striker speaks out
IT staff strike 'indefinitely' in Swansea
Swansea IT staff to strike over outsourcing deal
Swansea IT jobs are 'safe', says council
Swansea Council IT staff threaten strike over outsourcing

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Nokia offers 'voluntary retirement' to 6,000+ Indian employees
India's 'predictability and stability' cited as mobe-maker's tax payment deadline nears
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer
Do the right thing, earn up to 10 years in clink
France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours
«Email? Mais non ... il est plus tard que six heures du soir!»
Adrian Mole author Sue Townsend dies at 68
RIP Blighty's best-selling author of the 1980s
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Analysts: Bright future for smartphones, tablets, wearables
There's plenty of good money to be made if you stay out of the PC market
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.