Branch Secretary : info@housingworkers.org.uk
  

Sanctuary Housing: Worker’s protest

Heavy handed management

 

 

Unite at Sanctuary staged a protest outside a disciplinary hearing in support of one of our members who is being disciplined for allegedly falling foul of the disciplinary code this week. Workers at Sanctuary are no stranger to this heavy-handed treatment.

 

 

 

Many claim that the relentless pace of work and bullying attitude of managers often leads to angry responses from workers. Unite assembled workers outside to cheer Chris on as he went into his hearing with his rep Nigel by his side. We now await the decision of the hearing before deciding what our next move is. However, workers made it very clear to management with their loud and colourful protest that poor treatment of workers must stop now and if not there will be consequences.

 

 

Skills abused

 

 

Unite at Sanctuary's new rep had this to say on the matter, "Workers working on voids are fed up being told we can only do bodge jobs on properties so they can move in elderly tenants and young families to add to their already vast profits. I don’t like my skills being abused. Sanctuary increased their profits last year from £42.4m to £46.7 million pounds and it’s being invested in more properties to make more profits for the shareholders. How about they invest in their staff and the tenants. This is not a charity anymore; it's a money making machine and the tenants and workers bear the brunt."

 

 

 

"Today we not only supported our fellow member Chris at his disciplinary but we stood up for all workers who have been bullied, disrespected, undervalued and underpaid. We were also pleased to receive support from our tenants showing how much we have in common with each other. We urge any Sanctuary worker who is not currently a member of Unite to join now. If we fight we can win!"

 

 

Respect

 

 

Chris issued his thanks to all who attended later when he said, "Thanks to everyone who came to support me, that took real courage today, it certainly raised more than an eyebrow.....it’s great not being alone I felt proud of you guys today, when I went into the hearing one of the managers said there’s a bit of commotion out there and I proudly said yes that’s my union mates come to support me with a great BIG smile."

 

 

 

After our protest someone from HR emerged from their office to ask what we were demonstrating about. We told her we were there to support our comrade Chris but also to send a message that all staff need to be treated with more respect. One worker told her straight, "we are here because you are bullies." We also pointed out to her that Unite had sent a letter to Sanctuary on the 9th May explaining why we wanted to meet with them but Sanctuary completely ignored our letter. No wonder then that workers prefer to take a more direct route! Sanctuary's HR rep did promise to get back to us. We look forward to hearing from them.

 

 

Longer hours

 

 

It was a good day, many Sanctuary workers attended and many who weren't able to attend have since sent in messages for support for our actions. This will give workers more confidence and show them that whether it is bullying management, intensification of work pressure, longer working hours or declining pay we need a strong trade union at Sanctuary to hold the bosses to account.

 

 

Any workers at Sanctuary who are currently not members of Unite would have got a taste of what we are about yesterday and should join now by following this link: https://join.unitetheunion.org/

 

 

 

Nick Auvache

20 May 2022

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