Socialist Worker

Workers at St Mungo’s resist race to bottom

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2667

A previous St Mungo’s strike

A previous St Mungo’s strike (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Around 500 workers at the St Mungo’s homeless charity are balloting for strikes over attacks on their jobs and the service they provide.

The Unite union members are based at offices in London, Bristol, Brighton and the South East of England.

A St Mungo’s worker in Brighton told Socialist Worker that bosses’ attacks mean “they are ripping up the agreements with the union”.

Bosses want to increase the number of junior staff at some workplaces from 25 percent to 50 percent.

The worker said, “This will mean that project workers will be replaced by less experienced staff.

“St Mungo’s claim it’s because people aren’t applying for jobs, but we know that’s not the case.

“This is a race to the bottom, and will mean redundancies.” Workers are also furious at a raft of measures to drive down their pay and conditions.

Unsocial 

The worker said this includes bosses imposing an end to unsocial hours pay between 8pm and 4am. “They tried to cloak it in language that made it out like they were improving services,” they said.

“But it’s just a cost cutting exercise—it’s quite obvious.”

Workers are also fighting “draconian disciplinary procedures,” a punitive sickness policy and a ban on holding union meetings during working hours.

St Mungo’s workers should vote yes to strikes in the ballot that ends on 9 September.


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