Socialist Worker

Historic Care UK strike needs national union support

Issue No. 2424

Debating the merits of private company involvement in the health service outside Tory Party conference in Birmingham last week

Debating the merits of private company involvement in the health service outside Tory Party conference in Birmingham last week (Pic: Doncaster Supported Living Unison Strike)


Doncaster Care UK strikers are set to become the longest ever health strikers in Britain on their 81st strike day on Friday of this week. 

The Unison union members are in the second week of a three-week strike at the private health firm.

They are striking for the Living Wage for new staff, currently paid just £7 an hour, and a meaningful rise for everyone else.

The ex-NHS workers support adults with learning disabilities. They have fought to defend their pay, conditions and the service since Labour-run Doncaster council privatised it a year ago.

Many staff have decades of experience and are adamant that profit-hungry private firms should not be running the NHS. 

Their struggle has been inspiring but has also taken a heavy toll.

Some have been forced out the job by an imposed 35 percent pay cut. Others have lost their home.

Their union has never followed through on promises of national support made by general secretary Dave Prentis on a visit to the picket line five months ago. 

Prentis’ pledge to “make sure that you understand the solidarity of our union behind you” risks seeming hollow now.

Send donations, solidarity messages and requests for strikers to speak at meetings to admin@unison-dab.org.uk 
Make cheques payable to Unison Doncaster 20511. Send to Jenkinson House, White Rose Way, Doncaster, DN4 5GJ


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