Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/504/3223
From The Socialist newspaper, 4 October 2007
Care workers on strike
Bolton Council is attempting to cut holiday and sick pay for carers by removing the right to claim for 'sleep-ins', an essential part of many carers' duties and wages. Workers went on strike on 1-2 October against these attacks.
Robert Mitchell, Bolton Socialist Party
This is an attack on the pay and conditions of an already underpaid group of workers. It is also part of an attempt by government and councils to undermine terms and conditions of work for carers on a national scale.
On the first day of industrial action over 100 care workers and supporters packed out the strike rally. It was addressed by Unison regional officer Paul Rhodes, Unison Bolton branch chairperson Florence Hill, Karen Reissman (a Manchester nurse suspended for speaking out against NHS cuts and privatisation) and Paul Holmes, (Unison national executive member).
All four speakers emphasised that the dispute is not just about the issue of 'sleep-ins' or premiums, but a defence of working terms and conditions which had been agreed and guaranteed on a national level.
John Rutherford, head of Bolton Council adult services department, has been off sick since the 75%-for-action result of the strike ballot, whilst care workers are having to struggle for the basic right to retain their normal rate of pay when off sick or on annual leave.
Speaking to the socialist, Florence told me: "The turn out today was absolutely brilliant, it just shows the strength of feeling amongst the people. It's been really impressive. So many people have stepped forward and helped to organise and rally support.
"This dispute is about national terms and conditions. Unison members have not taken the decision to strike lightly… This is part of the ongoing saga of employers attacking the most vulnerable group of staff. You can bet that senior management's perks will be the last to come under threat."
As we go to press, workers are discussing the next steps in the dispute. Send messages of support to Bolton Metro Unison, 27 Mawdsley Street, Bolton, BL1 1LN or ring 01204 338 901 for more info.
Donate to the Socialist Party
Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal
The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
- The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
- Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
- When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.
In The Socialist 4 October 2007:
Support postal workers: decisive action can win
"We've had the battle - now this is war!"
Protests make bosses ditch closure plan
War and terrorism
Iraq: end the occupation nightmare
Stop the War Coalition (STWC) national demonstration
Editorial and comment
Tory party fears an autumn election
Banking turmoil continues
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Come to the NHS demo!
Socialist Party news and analysis
Classroom assistants on strike
Supermarket price-fixing scandal
Success! Double whammy for nursery campaign
Socialist Party features
EU's anti-working class 'reforms'
Fighting nuclear power
Students want to fight back
Socialist Party feature
Che Guevara - revolutionary fighter
Socialist Party events
Socialism 2007: Ideas for our future
International socialist news and analysis
Burma: Dictatorship under threat
Socialist Party reviews and comment
QPR buy-out - Reclaim the game!
It's a free world, a film by Ken Loach
Anno 1701 - Dawn of Discovery
Socialist Party workplace news
Local government pay offer: It's time for action
Remploy workers win partial victory
Care workers on strike
National Shop Stewards Network makes plans
The Socialist 4 October 2007 |
Join the Socialist