Branch Secretary :

Growing protests against Hestia management’s anti-union threats

Modern slavery


As previously reported Hestia’s director of HR sent a letter to a number the organisation’s staff threatening them with disciplinary action if they engaged in "trade union activity." This letter was shared with local councillors in borough's where Hestia has services. Many, including the Mayor of Hackney, were shocked when they read the letter and have written to Hestia voicing their concern


"..anti-union approach of too many senior managers in the sector does nothing for morale or service quality as well as deepening the recruitment crisis.."


So far, as well as the Mayor of Hackney, letters have been sent by councillors from Hackney, Brent and others. Emily Kenway, a modern slavery academic and former policy advisor, has also sent a letter and a regional officer will be meeting with the MP for Hounslow this week to discuss the issue further. It is ironic that an organisation working in the modern slavery field has this approach to workplace relations!



Unite pledge to pursue legal action



There is nothing wrong with having conversations with colleagues about trade union membership. It is Hestia's response that is out of order and others clearly agree. 




We know that the letter did worry some people, which is understandable. In response, we put together a fact sheet that explains what your rights are regarding trade union activity in the workplace. And our Regional Officer has assured us that Unite would pursue legal action were a member to be victimised for an act as innocent as passing on or receiving a union leaflet. 



Care and support organisations including Hestia have reported great difficulty in recruiting and retaining staff. Pay is clearly critical to this and Unite members in Hestia submitted a pay claim shortly before the employer issued its threatening letters. But the anti-union approach of too many senior managers in the sector does nothing for morale or service quality as well as deepening the recruitment crisis.



Unite members are fighting for a decent deal and defending services – join us here.


2 August 2022






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