Branch Secretary :

Britian needs a pay rise - picketing goes well

Day two – National TUC demo - Britain needs a payrise.



Picketing goes well.


It was another successful and inspiring day.


Picket lines ran without a hitch at accommodation projects on day two of the strike.


Bizarrely, Howard Sinclair attended the Mare Street picket line and told members there that it didn’t matter if “they went on strike for twenty days,” he would not give in to the demands of the union.


Presumably he has realised that making unsubstantiated threats to staff via email about behaviour on the picket lines is not working. Mainly due to the fact that members have done nothing wrong!


It is important that we don’t fall for the tricks of the executive. In the face of this new tactic it is all the more important that we keep strong and lively picket lines running throughout next week.


Care in the UK?


Members met at Blackfriars tube at 11.30am prior to joining the National TUC Demo.


We met a delegation of Care UK strikers. These workers have been on strike for 90 days against the actions of an outfit called Care UK, part of a huge pan-European company called Bridgepoint Capital.


These strikers were originally employed by the NHS and contracted to work for Doncaster council providing vital care to enable people to maintain independent lives.


But Doncaster had to put the work out to tender as part of the ongoing privatisation of the NHS. Profit hungry Care UK won the contract and the workers jobs were transferred to the company. Care UK then announced vicious wage cuts.


It all sounds a bit too familiar doesn’t it? 


The workers voted overwhelmingly to take action and have been on strike since March.


Speeches were made to the crowd that had gathered at Blackfriars tube and photos taken of both sets of strikers standing together. The Care UK strikers have sent us a message of solidarity and we have said that we will do all we can to support their dispute too.




On the demo


We had been told the previous day that our banner would be at the front of the demonstration. However, the rally with Care UK strikers meant that we left it a little late to join the demo. It took some doing to reach the front of the demonstration but we managed it.


Members raised the Unite Housing Workers banner at the front of the march and we walked into Hyde Park at the head of the protest.


We handed out thousands of leaflets publicising our dispute to trade unionists on the demo. Members also collected £784.77 for the strike fund. Some of the money was given out to reps at the demo so that picket lines could have petty cash next week.


Jeremy Corbyn MP was on the demo and stopped to speak to us. (Check out the @smbunite twitter feed to see Jeremy’s tweet about us). He told us that he will be raising an early day motion in parliament about our fight! This is great news and will help us to put more pressure on the executive.


We will also be looking to raise the profile of our campaign via other prominent supporters over the coming week and beyond. More news on that to follow later.


Overall it was another highly successful day. We were able to raise the profile of our dispute with thousands of trade unionists and our first MP.


Let’s keep the pressure on. Let’s keep the pickets and protests well attended in the coming week. Over the last two days we have proved that we have what it takes to win. Let’s make sure that we do. 



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