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Doncaster Care UK workers start record breaking strike
Reported telephone conversation - Unison rep for Doncaster Care UK strikers: 'We're planning for Christmas'. Care UK senior manager: 'Oh yes, I know that.'
Even the Don't Care UK bosses know they cannot break the resolve of the Doncaster Care UK strikers. On Monday 29 September a further three weeks strike action started, on top of the 69 days of action taken since February.
The dispute began to fight a 35% pay cut imposed following privatisation of Doncaster's Supported Living Service for Adults with Learning Difficulties and now is for a decent pay rise. But the dispute has always been about defending the NHS.
This inspiring group of workers, still numbering around 60 on strike, were joined on the picket line by one worker re-joining the strike and another striking for the first time.
The strikers plan another coach to London to protest at Bridgepoint, the private equity company that owns Care UK, and an open top bus around the capital. Solidarity tours are planned in Barnsley, Hull and Nottingham as well as supporting the public sector strikes on 13-15 October. Strikers will also hit the Tory conference.
But the most significant day will be Friday 10 October, when on the 81st day of action, this dispute will become the longest ever involving health and care workers. The strike committee is appealing to Unison and all its other supporters in the trade union and socialist movement nationally to organise protests on that day at Care UK offices and Bridgepoint companies, such as Pret A Manger and Fat Face.
The continuing strike action combined with the leverage campaign is increasing the pressure on Bridgepoint and Care UK. They know the strikers are not going away. They won't cope with a strike at Christmas. They will be forced to negotiate and make a serious pay offer.
In The Socialist 1 October 2014:
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