...in the NEW WORKER
THE NATIONAL Association of Local Government Officers last Monday resumed pay talks with employers on behalf of 500,000 local government members.
They are claiming a rise of 12 per cent of the Council of Europe decency threshold of £9,330, whichever is greater. Around 38 per cent of their members are paid less than this threshold.
Nalgo is also seeking to make the adult rate payable at 18 instead of 21, reductions in the working week and increases in annual leave.
This claim was first submitted in January, giving the employers a long period of consultation on the claim and the unions expected a first offer by the beginning of May.
So far the employers have made no offer and are divided on whether or not to make an offer by the end of this month.
This would be likely to anger the membership and lead to calls for strike action as happened in 1989, when a programme of one-day stoppages and selective strikes by Nalgo members won a substantial pay award.
YUGOSLAVIA stands on the brink of civil war, despite the talks between the Serbian and Croat leaderships and the army has demanded sweeping powers to stop the ethnic violence.
Fighting between Croat and Serbian nationalist militias led to many deaths last week. At least one soldier died in clashes with Croat nationalists. The national army, in which most officers are Serbs, may also disintegrate if the crisis worsens.
Hungary is believed to be arming the Croat militias who accuse Romania of backing the Serbian-Montenegran front.
Yugoslavia’s constitution provides for a presidency that rotates among the individual republics and is virtually nominal.
Yugoslavia’s worsening economy and its unworkable federal constitution have produced a situation like that in the Lebanon with nationalists leaders from every community and religious group set on establishing local centres of power.