Socialist Worker

Strikers want to see the dismantling of Fremantle

by Helen Davies, branch chair Barnet Unison (pc)
Issue No. 2069

Around 200 residential and daycare workers employed by Fremantle in Barnet, north London, were set to strike on Thursday of this week.

They are on strike after being told that their contracts would be rewritten, leading to wage cuts of up to 30 percent. The workers are former council staff, who were transferred under Tupe regulations, which are intended to protect conditions.

They have struck three times already against these attacks.

These workers look after frail and vulnerable elderly people.

They were not earning a lot of money on their old terms and conditions.

On the day of the strike they will take a coach to the Fremantle headquarters where they will hand in postcards from supporters of the campaign protesting against the way they have been treated.

The workers are winning support from the labour movement across the world.

Fremantle attempted to intimidate the Labour Start website from running articles and a campaign.

Because of this the bosses have been deluged with some 12,000 emails and messages of support for the workers.

In another draconian move Andrew Rogers, a Unison union rep, was sacked two weeks ago. Unison is confident it can show his sacking was related to his participation in the dispute.

Pressure needs to continue to build on Fremantle. Its recent attempts of intimidation show how desperate it is to force its will on the workforce.

Fremantle workers received a warm welcome at last week’s TUC conference. Their story epitomises everything which is evil about privatisation.

Unison’s national executive backed an emergency motion to go to the conference, but unfortunately it did not get past the TUC’s general purposes (standing orders) committee, although a number of trade unions are backing the dispute.

Please send protest messages to Carole Sawyers, chief executive, Fremantle Trust, Sunley House, Oxford Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, HP19 8EZ.

Send messages of support and donations to Barnet Unison, Building 4, North London Business Park, Oakleigh Road South, London N11 1NP.

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Article information

Mon 24 Sep 2007, 14:05 BST
Issue No. 2069
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