Socialist Worker

Care UK pay cuts made me homeless, says Doncaster striker

by Sadie Robinson
Issue No. 2414

Care UK workers protesting earlier this year

Care UK workers protesting earlier this year (Pic: Doncaster Supported Living Unison Strike)


Care UK workers in Doncaster are fighting pay cuts so devastating that they have already made one woman worker homeless.

Mags Dalton has been a care worker for 26 years. But pay cuts of £400 a month mean she can’t afford her rent any more—and will be forced to move out of the city altogether.

Mags told Socialist Worker, “I only moved into my house about a year ago. The move cost quite a lot—paying a bond, rent and hiring a van. Then Care UK took over our workplace in September, and by December they were cutting wages.

“I knew I wouldn’t be able to pay the rent. I haven’t got any family in Doncaster so I’ll have to relocate to Newcastle where my parents are. I haven’t lived there in eight years.”

Mags isn’t the only one who’s angry. Care UK workers began a two-week strike on Tuesday of this week, demanding a Living Wage of £7.65 an hour.

Mags is living with a friend after moving out of her rented home. She had to give up a lot of her furniture in the move and just has a few small possessions left.

There’s a danger that many workers could soon be in a similar position. Mags said that many would have to look for other jobs because they can’t afford to live on Care UK’s low wages.

“They’re going to lose a lot of staff who have years of experience,” she said. “They’ll have no choice but to leave jobs they’ve loved doing for years.

“They will have to walk away from service users who they’ve seen for every day for years and have become like family. It’s very sad.”

For all the hardship, Mags and other workers remain defiant. They fought long and hard against the new contracts Care UK imposed, and now they are determined to win on pay.

Mags told Socialist Worker, “The politicians say cuts are so great so why don’t they take a cut? They’ve got two houses or more. All I wanted to do was to keep a little roof over my head and they’ve taken that away from me.”

Mags said the fight was much bigger than one group of workers. “We’ve got to stand up for future generations,” she said. “What future have they got if there are only jobs on the minimum wage or zero hours contracts?

“The fight is still going on. I think I’ll always be fighting, wherever I am.”

Send donations, solidarity messages and requests for strikers to speak at meetings to admin@unison-dab.org.uk.
You can also make cheques payable to Doncaster, District & Bassetlaw Health Branch. Send cheques to Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster DN4 5GJ


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