Socialist Worker

Care workers' strike is solid in Rochdale

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2373

Future Directions strikers march on the Tories in Manchester

Future Directions strikers march on the Tories in Manchester (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Care workers at Future Directions in Rochdale are continuing a ten-day strike until Saturday of this week to defend their pay, terms and conditions. 

The workers are members of the Unison union. 

Andy Taylor, a Unison steward at Future Directions, told Socialist Worker, “We work with vulnerable people with learning difficulties. 

“We haven’t taken strike action lightly. Management are the ones who have refused to budge from their ‘best and final offer’. That means up to a 43 percent pay cut for some.”

Future Directions was set up by Calderstones NHS Trust. 

Strikers are angry that a community interest company set up with public money is undermining wages and conditions in the social care sector. 

“We’re angry about the bullying management culture,” said Andy. “It’s not something we’re used to. After one strike bosses picked on people who were on the picket line and said they would be moved to different sites.They had absolutely no consideration of the impact on the people we work with who have built a relationship with us.”

This Saturday will be the 29th strike day at Future Directions this year, following mass sackings and the imposition of new contracts on workers in May.

Imposition of pay cuts has pushed some workers to use food banks to feed their children and others face losing their homes.

Andy said that the solidarity from the trade union movement has made a big difference to strikers.

“We’ve spoken at union meetings around the country and got lots of support,” he said. “We need our case to be heard and are open to invitations to travel anywhere.” 

Join strikers’ lobby of the council at Rochdale Town Hall, The Esplanade, Rochdale Thursday 3 October 5.45pm.

Send messages of support to helen.harrison@rochdale.gov.uk and donations to Rochdale Unison, 46 Richard Street, Rochdale, OL11 1DU


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Tue 1 Oct 2013, 18:44 BST
Issue No. 2373
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