The SKWAWKBOX’s revelation of emails from Clancy himself and from ACAS confirming that Birmingham City Council (BCC) had done a firm deal with Unite and striking refuse workers led this week to the resignation of BCC leader John Clancy. The council’s attempts to claim that Clancy exceeded his authority show that the council wishes to scapegoat him to avoid its own, collective responsibility for the deal that not a single cabinet member voted against.
This cynical tactic does not, of course, release the council from its responsibilities – a sentiment echoed by Unite’s assistant General Secretary Howard Beckett when he spoke to the TUC’s gathered union representatives yesterday.
Be warned, it’s excoriating, moving and damning. Beckett pulls no punches toward a council that seems to have forgotten its Labour values – nor toward BCC’s ‘Tory’ interim chief executive Stella Manzie:
His emergency resolution was passed unanimously by the TUC.
Beckett told the SKWAWKBOX why he believes that Manzie must resign:
Ms Manzie has twice now blocked legal experts meeting. Her actions in sending the redundancy letters out with four weeks notice is in complete opposition to NEC guidance for labour councils and will be shown to unlawful when we get to court.
She should resign to allow industrial relations to resume with the council. Ian Ward [interim council leader] should stand up for the safety of the public by keeping safety at the back of the bins and in doing so stand up for working people and maintaining their incomes.
The SKWAWKBOX has had sight of Unite’s legal paperwork and the unlawfulness of BCC’s actions lies in breach of contract in the process and notice of the redundancies of over one hundred ‘leading hand’ refuse collectors.
But the root of the matter is that the council struck a firm deal with its workers and their union – and then went back on it. The resignation of the council leader is not enough to end the matter and in no way releases the council from its moral and contractual obligations to its employees.
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