Employees at Southampton City Council are planning industrial action – with some going on strike – in protest to the council sacking thousands of workers and then re-employing them on altered terms and conditions.

The staff involved include care workers, street cleaners, refuse collectors, social workers, parking enforcement officers, building trades and various other services.

While 108 refuse workers will take full strike action for a week, other staff will take part in industrial action short of a strike, which will include working to rule, an overtime ban, no private car use for work purposes and no personal mobile ‘phone use.

Unite assistant general secretary Gail Cartmail said: “The tactic being deployed by Southampton City Council is possible because UK employment law reinforces the medieval ‘master-servant’ principle that has no place in the 21st century. Our members are standing up for basic human rights . The actions of Southampton City Council should be condemned by all decent people.”