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Strikers join picket lines at business park this morning
HUNDREDS of Barnet Council workers are expected to join a picket line at North London Business Park this morning, as part of a one-day strike against plans to outsource some council services.
The outsourcing plans, rolled out as part of the One Barnet Programme, have been fiercely opposed by union UNISON, saying it could lead to large numbers of employees moving to the private sector over the next year.
Strikers will rally outside the council's headquarters until about 10am, before carrying out charity work during the day and ending strike action with a candle light vigil outside Hendon Town Hall.
Barnet UNISON branch secretary John burgess said: "They’re not getting paid and rather than just the usual strike action, they wanted to do something different – the people wanted to give something back, which I think is to be commended."
Mr Burgess said members had called on the council to donate savings from staff wages during the strike to one of the Mayor's charities.
In a twist on usual strike action proceedings, members will also put on street theatre performances demonstrating the implications of the One Barnet programme.
Councillor Daniel Thomas, deputy leader and cabinet member for policy and performance, said: "I would be interested to see how the challenges of dealing with a growing demand for public services with a reduced amount of money is portrayed through the medium of street theatre."
Cllr Thomas said any savings made from staff wages would be directed into public services.
Today's strike action follows previous one-day industrial action on September 13.