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Last Updated: Friday, 17 August 2007, 05:20 GMT 06:20 UK
Council workers vote for strike
Edinburgh City Chambers
The strike will coincide with a council meeting
Edinburgh council workers have voted to take strike action over threatened cuts and redundancies.

The Unison union said about 8,000 of its members voted by more than two to one to strike, following a ballot.

The action is due to take place on 23 August to coincide with the council meeting which the union claims will vote through the cuts.

A council statement said the strike was "disaapointing" but it was essential that it balanced the books.

A Unison spokesman warned that a programme of selective action and boycotts would follow.

He said the action could be called off if the union was given assurances that there would be no redundancies and no extra pressure put onto staff due to cuts.

Even at this late stage, the council's own staff and their union have been kept in the dark about what the cuts options are
George Lee

George Lee, Unison's Edinburgh branch secretary, said: "Council services are all about people. People use the services and people deliver them.

"They are home helps, education and social work staff, engineers, road workers, environmental health staff.

"You cannot make cuts of up to 16m without the threat of redundancies among the people delivering those services.

He added: "Even at this late stage, the council's own staff and their union have been kept in the dark about what the cuts options are.

"The only thing the council has been clear about is that it cannot rule out redundancies."

Financial situation

A total of 1,601 (70.8%) council workers voted in favour of strike action (70.8%) while 661 (29.2%) voted against.

A council statement said the strike was "very disappointing news".

It said: "We greatly value our staff, appreciate the effort and commitment they give to providing services, and want to work with them to put the budget back on a sound footing again.

"The council faces a serious financial situation but we are determined to take the action necessary to address the overspend.

"It is essential that we balance our books while delivering the highest possible quality of service for the people of Edinburgh."

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