Socialist Worker

Southampton care workers' three day strike over contracts

Issue No. 2036

Council care workers in Southampton will stage a three-day strike from Saturday of this week in a dispute over new contracts.

Around 220 mostly women care workers are striking after they were told they would be sacked if they did not accept savage wage cuts. About 160 Unison and 60 T&G union members are taking action.

The unions say workers will see their wages cut by between £7,000 and £200 under the council proposals.

Mike Tucker, Unison branch secretary, said, 'The city council should be ashamed of itself.

'It is slashing the wages of dedicated care staff, while spending thousands on lawyers and temporary staff in an attempt to undermine strike action.

'Care workers do not take strike action lightly, but the city council has left them with no choice.'

Terry Hinton, T&G convenor, said, 'It is clear that the sacking of the care workers and reinstatement on reduced pay is not about savings, but a deliberate act to attack workers' pay.

'These women, who are already amongst the lowest paid in local government, cannot afford to lose up to 50 percent of their pay.

'The council, which regularly exploits the caring nature of these employees, have totally underestimated the sense of injustice felt.

'We are determined to fight this disgusting attack on women's pay, using all methods at our disposal.'

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Sat 3 Feb 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2036
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