THOUSANDS of Kirklees workers are to strike soon over an “insulting’’ pay offer.
Binmen, teaching assistants and home carers will be among the members of the Unison union striking on July 16 and 17.
Meanwhile a Unison official said the striking workers would show who was really vital to society.
Kirklees branch secretary Paul Holmes, who said a 2.45% pay offer was insulting, added: “The dispute is unwelcome, but we have no choice. A pay rise of 2.45% when inflation is more than 4% is not only pitiful, it’s insulting.”
Unison members in England, Wales and Northern Ireland voted 55% in favour of industrial action last month.
The union has 8,250 members working for Kirklees Council and 750 in sports centres, Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing and the fire service.
Mr Holmes said: “Whenever our members go on strike it unfortunately shows who is vital to society.
“The rich could stay away for ever and nobody would notice. But services like home care have to be provided by people on low pay.”
And Mr Holmes predicted there would be more industrial action. “The Government’s public sector pay policy will lead to their demise if they don’t realise that many ordinary people can only just afford to live at present,” he said.
“While City bonuses soar and the rich get richer, those who provide basic services are being laughed at.
“Britain is becoming a two-tier society, with champagne drinkers never having had it so good and ordinary people struggling to pay the bills.”