Care UK workers are preparing to resume their battle against a savage attack on their pay and conditions. The Unison union members have struck for 34 days since the end of February.
They are coming up against the restrictions on workers’ rights after a 12-week strike period under the Tory anti-union laws. Care UK Unison rep Mags Dalton told Socialist Worker, “We are waiting to reballot but we’re as strong as ever. We hope we can come out and join the public sector strike on 10 July.”
The anti-union laws are designed to make workers lose momentum. Unison rep Janet Howles told Socialist Worker, “We’re making sure we all keep together, we know that’s where we’re strong, and preparing for the battles ahead. You don’t go to war without a battle plan.”
The workers care for people with learning disabilities. Labour-run Doncaster council in South Yorkshire privatised the ex-NHS service in autumn last year.
New contracts from Care UK cut workers’ pay by up to £7,000 a year.
Care UK bosses are again offering a bribe to sign the contracts—11 months pay protection. Dave Honeybone is a Care UK Unison rep. He told Socialist Worker, “Management look desperate. Why would we take something now that we’ve already rejected twice?”
“Some workers regret signing the contract. They’ve seen the strength of the strikers and are beginning to realise what the company is trying to do.”
Donations continue to pour in—some union branches have now pledged £1,000 a month until the dispute ends. Unison general secretary Dave Prentis has committed the full backing of the national union.
If we want to see our side win, we have to back them up.