Socialist Worker

Southampton care workers to strike again

Issue No. 2038

Care workers are set to strike again on Wednesday of this week in their dispute with Southampton council over enforced pay cuts. Some 240 Unison and T&G union members were set to take industrial action this Wednesday.

The council has threatened workers with the sack if they refuse new contracts coming into effect this Sunday. The new contracts get rid of enhanced payments for anti-social working hours.

Carers, cooks and housekeepers face losing up to £7,000 a year.

Wednesday was chosen for strike action as the Liberal Democrat controlled council meets on that day to agree the 2007-8 budget.

Included in the council budget are cuts of £400,000 from the wages of care workers.

Unison branch secretary Mike Tucker said, “Despite freezing weather over 150 care workers attended picket lines during the three-day strike earlier this month.

“The actions of management during the strike – which ranged from calling the police because of alleged intimidation to refusing access to toilets for pickets – has only increased the determination of care workers to resist.

“Care workers are determined to continue their fight for justice.”

In Staffordshire over 200 workers from the Unison, T&G and GMB unions protested on Wednesday of last week against plans to close care homes for the elderly and disabled people in Staffordshire.

Shutting the 35 care homes for the elderly will affect 1,500 staff employed in care homes and the council has admitted redundancies are inevitable.

Staffordshire council worker

Over 300 care workers demonstrated in Bristol on Thursday of last week. The workers, members of the GMB and T&G unions, were protesting against plans by the county council to privatise care homes.

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