Socialist Worker

Support grows for Fremantle workers

Issue No. 2077

Workers struck solidly last Saturday (Pic: Charlie Kimber)

Workers struck solidly last Saturday (Pic: Charlie Kimber)

Trade unionists from across London joined a protest in support of the Fremantle care workers in Barnet, north west London, last Saturday.

Around 200 residential and daycare workers in the Unison union struck on the day for the fifth time in their long-running dispute with their employer Fremantle.

The workers are angry after being told that their contracts would be rewritten, leading to wage cuts of up to 30 percent.

The former council staff, who were transferred under Tupe regulations – which are intended to protect conditions – look after frail and vulnerable elderly people.

Speakers at the rally expressed their support for the workers’ struggle and praised their action.

Heather Wakefield, Unison’s national secretary for local government sent a message of support to the workers.

She said. “Your campaign has been the best possible response to the worst possible example of privatisation.

“It is scandalous that our members and vulnerable people should be at the mercy of a dogmatic affair with the private sector which leaves service users and staff high and dry on a whim”

The rally also highlighted the case of Karen Reissmann, a mental health nurse in Manchester who has been sacked after speaking out against privatisation.

It condemned the sacking and sent solidarity greetings to Karen and the members taking industrial action in her defence.

Michael Gavan, the branch chair of Newham Unison local government, spoke at the rally. Michael has been suspended for the last three months for representing his members.

His disciplinary started last week and it has been adjourned until 19 November.

The rally expressed strong support for Michael and his branch.

The Fremantle workers’ fight for justice is continuing.

Their struggle has won massive support from the labour movement across the world.

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

Tue 13 Nov 2007, 17:50 GMT
Issue No. 2077
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