Lambeth Libraries staff have voted overwhelmingly for strike action to save jobs and keep all 10 Lambeth libraries open.
Staff voted 89% to strike against plans to close libraries and cut jobs. Unison will now be discussing extended strike action with the library workers in the borough.
This strike vote follows a significant community campaign to keep the libraries open as well as a walk out by staff in December when news circulated that books were already being taken out of one of the libraries.
Ruth Cashman from Lambeth Unison said; “This vote shows the commitment library staff have to defending the services we provide to our communities. We know that libraries can change lives, we know this is nothing short of cultural vandalism and we won’t stand by while our library network is dismantled.”
Several Labour Party wards have passed motions criticising their own Council’s library closure programme and supporting the library staff and local community in their efforts to keep the library service open.
James Goodman, Labour Party member who moved the motion commented;
“Many Labour Party members are unhappy about the local cuts and want our councillors to stand up for the local community and our needs.”
Internal opposition to the Council’s plans follows the new Labour Leadership’s announcement that it will automatically support industrial action.
Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, announced at a fringe meeting of Labour Party Conference in Autumn;
“The view now is straightforward and I tell you this: If there is industrial action taking place then we should automatically now, automatically come alongside our brothers and sisters in the trade unions and support them.”