Branch Secretary :

St Mungos strikers welcomed by Hackney marchers

Warm welcome


St Mungos strikers had a warm welcome when they addressed the Hackney May Day march at the weekend. Jackie and Vicko spoke at the start of the march.


Property services workers have been on continuous strike since April 22nd demanding an end to bullying and victimisation.


Gradual return to work


Marchers heard how a St Mungos worker had returned from sick leave after surgery for cancer. Rather than being allowed to return gradually, she was expected to work through a backlog of tasks that had accumulated during her sick leave. This was contrary to advice given to the charity by its own occupational health practitioners.


Strikers addresing the rally


When St Mungo’s failed to properly investigate a grievance about bullying in the – refusing to speak to twelve witnesses – the workers had no option but to strike. Far from seeking a solution, the management have put the rep who took out the grievance on a gross misconduct charge which means he could lose his job.


Distress to senior management


Management argue that raising concerns about bullying had caused distress to senior managers and that this constitutes gross misconduct.


Our branch banner on the Hackney May Day march


Incredibly one of the grounds is that the suggestion of bullying has caused distress to senior managers. Another charge is that his reluctance to conduct a ‘back to work’ interview with the worker who was recovering from surgery amounted to insubordination.




Half of Unite reps at St Mungos face formal HR processes about their own employment and 68% of respondents to a Unite survey said they had experienced bullying from senior management. St Mungos management have refused to discuss this survey on the grounds that they do not see bullying as a collective issue.


St Mungos CEO Steve Douglas - Unite appeal to him to rethink intimidation


Unite believe that senior managers are attempting to intimidate the workforce and has appealed to Chief Executive Steve Douglas to rethink his position.  


Unite victories


In other speeches Steve Headly of the RMT (transport union) explained that employers beleaved that workers were weakened and were attacking union reps and pay and conditions. He said it was essential to prove them wrong with a militant fight in the workplace and a political fight for socialism.


Onay Kasab of Unite pointed to recent victories the union has had after strike action; winning the London Living Wage and fighting against workplace secual harassment.


Praised St Mungos strikers


Rob Williams of the National Shop Stewards Network said that while some had believed there was the possibility of ‘national unity’ at the beginning of the pandemic, it was now clear that no such unity was possible – we needed workers unity in struggle. Rob also praised the fight of our members in St Mungos.

Paul Kershaw (Chair LE1111 branch)


Earlier report on St Mungos strike here


Planned picket lines this week:

St Mungos pickets. Meet up 8.30 – 9.00am run till 11.00am


Tuesday 4th May

83 Endell Street

London WC2H 9D


Thursday 6th May

146 Mare Street

London E8 3SG


Friday 7th May

2-5 Birkenhead St

London WC1H 8BA 


The march was organised by Day Mer with support from Unite.


Video of the march here.


Article on origins of May day by Rosa Luxemberg here.


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