Branch Secretary :

Unite strike ballot at Onward Housing and Hyndburn Homes Repairs

Northwest housing association workers begin pay ballot


Members of Unite employed by Onward Housing and Hyndburn Homes Repairs Ltd have begun balloting for strike action over pay. Unite LE1111 branch sends solidarity.


Pay dispute


The 230 workers at the housing association, who are based at depots in Accrington, Bolton, Manchester, Liverpool, Runcorn and Stockport, primarily undertake housing maintenance and repairs work in social housing as well as managing the housing stock and the delivery of service to tenants.


The workers have been offered a one per cent pay increase which is in effect a huge pay cut as the RPI inflation rate is currently 4.9 per cent.


Despite Onward Housing pleading poverty, its accounts show that its highest paid director has seen their pay increase by 12 per cent and now receives £262,000 a year, while aggregate executive pay has increased by 25 per cent and aggregate non-executive pay has increased by 8.1 per cent.


Essential role


Unite regional officer Colin Carr said: “Our members play an essential role in ensuring that tenants’ homes are well maintained.


“These are highly skilled workers who are dedicated to their jobs and they are not going to accept a real terms pay cut especially when the pay of directors is rapidly increasing.


 “Strike action will inevitably cause serious disruption to tenants in the weeks before Christmas but this dispute could still be resolved if Onwards returns to the negotiating table and makes a realistic pay offer.”


Ballot opens


The strike ballot opens today and closes on Monday 22 November. If workers vote for industrial action then strikes could begin before Christmas.


Strike action is likely to result in tenants experiencing delays to emergency repairs with planned maintenance work postponed or cancelled.


Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers' living standards.


8 – 11 – 2021


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