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Strike negotiations may aid Somerset council workers

Somerset County Council could soon be involved in strike negotiations with its employees if a ballot by Unison members approves industrial action in the face of proposed job cuts.

19 January 2011

Unison members working for Somerset County Council could soon be engaged in strike negotiations following a ballot on whether or not to reject a recent offer by the council.

The employer is looking to cut up to 1,500 jobs, but staff are being asked whether they support a rejection of the latest "minimal" offer and back industrial action.

A union spokesman told the Somerset Guardian: "Unison rightly argues that minimal redundancy compensation will result in poor compensation payments for our members, 80 per cent of whom earn a low or modest income under £21,000."

The representative noted that women, who make up some 71 per cent of the workforce, are likely to be particularly affected by the cuts.

According to the union, acceptance of the current offer would mean settling for some of the worst redundancy and pay protection in the south-west.

Earlier this week, representatives of union Unite announced that petrol and oil tanker drivers might strike if their demands for better working conditions, pensions and wages are not listened to.  

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