Islington walkout

SOCIAL WORKERS throughout the London borough of Islington staged a successful walkout in protest against the victimisation and suspension of two social workers. Paranoid about bad publicity following the White report - which criticised the mishandling of many children and family cases - top management in Islington is cracking down on the workforce.

Determined to prove that big changes have taken place following the scandals exposed in the White report, management has imposed massive reorganisation, causing a lot of confusion and stress for workers. Missing files and the anger of service users have added to their problems. To cap it all, management is now attacking and witchhunting staff throughout the borough.

 Despite chronic working conditions and low staffing levels, the message from management when it suspended two social workers is clear - if anything goes wrong now, individual workers will be scapegoated.

For many this was the last straw. Following the walkout, workers are now demanding the immediate reinstatement of those suspended and big improvements in working conditions. A branch meeting next week will decide on further action. Management has been surprised by the strength of last week’s action - where even agency workers walked out - and is feeling under pressure from the workforce. Now is the time to act.

Anne Murphy