Socialist Worker

Doncaster Care UK workers strike against low pay and attacks on NHS

by Raymie Kiernan
Issue No. 2415

Care UK strikers took their anti-privatisation message to London during previous strike

Care UK strikers took their anti-privatisation message to London during previous strike (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Doncaster Care UK workers are in their second week of a two-week strike. 

They are demanding a living wage for Care UK staff, but the issue of NHS privatisation lies at the heart of their dispute.

The workers care for adults with learning disabilities. 

The service was farmed out to NHS vulture Care UK last autumn by Labour-run Doncaster Council. 

A controlling stake in Care UK is owned by private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital.

Unison rep Roger Hutt explained their motivation to Socialist Worker, “We’ve been raising awareness of the private sector that is dismantling the NHS brick by brick.”

They have been speaking at union meetings, doing public leafleting and attended a demonstration for Gaza last weekend to spread their story. 

More action is planned, taking them across the country.

Many workers have been forced out of their jobs by the profit-hungry practices of Care UK bosses. 

Their pay has been slashed by up £7,000 a year—and some have even lost their home.

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 forcing her 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.”

There’s a danger that many workers could soon be in a similar position because they can’t afford to live on Care UK’s low wages.

Roger says they have to make a stand. 

“This is about people I’ve cared for all my life and future generations of workers,” he said. 

Roger was confident the dispute would continue after the current two-week strike ends on Monday of next week.

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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