Swansea IT workers return to work

More strikes planned as dispute grows

One hundred striking IT workers in Swansea have returned to work while both sides in the eight-week dispute continue to negotiate a settlement.

Said a spokesman for Swansea Council: "We welcome the decision by IT staff to return to work. We always believed that this dispute would be resolved through negotiation with ACAS [Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service]."

While the council may have earned some breathing space in its dispute with IT workers, who began industrial action in August over plans to privatise their jobs, the same cannot be said of the rest of the local authority's staff.

Some 5,000 of the council's 9,000 workers have been balloted on industrial action in support of the IT workers amid wider fears of privatisation and jobs cuts.

Two thirds of those who took part in the ballot have voted for industrial action and Unison is now understood to be planning a series of one-day strikes. The council said it was "disappointed" with the decision and "didn't believe there was a need for strike action".

"The Council has no hidden agenda on privatisation and redundancies. We want what is best for the people of Swansea and our staff," said a council spokesman. ®

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