Union agrees to new ballot on strike call

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The Independent Online
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HUNDREDS of council workers who picketed an emergency meeting of their union leaders yesterday won agreement for a new ballot for further strike action, writes Hamish Paterson.

The six-hour protest outside Nalgo's headquarters in central London ended when the union's national executive committee agreed to re-ballot 1,100 Newham Council workers who have been on strike for six weeks.

The decision followed the occupation of the Nalgo building by 200 protesters last Thursday after the union withdrew its support for the strike because it decided the dispute was over.

But the NEC said that workers must return to work before the re- ballot as the original issue, which centred on three sacked poll tax workers, has been resolved and they have been re-employed.

Now a ballot will be held to see if the workers want new strike action to win a return-to-work agreement and a policy of redeployment instead of compulsory redundancy.

Phil Thompson, the branch chair of Nalgo at Newham, said yesterday: 'It's good news. We are very pleased the NEC are now backing us and will be supporting a ballot.'

(Photograph omitted)