All Around the UK subcategories:
UK Towns and cities keywords:
14 May 2014
Neath/Port Talbot: Outsourced care workers fight to stop pay cuts
Care workers who were transferred from Neath/Port Talbot council to working for Grwp Gwalia two years ago, have taken their first 24 hours of strike action as part of a campaign to retain their terms and conditions.
Unison members were on picket lines this morning, 14th May, and attended a large, lunchtime rally next to Grwp Gwalia's headquarters in Swansea.
Alan Thomson, Grwp Gwalia Unison rep in the Swansea office told the meeting that Gwalia was targeting the care and support workers first but would then go for other workers later. Some workers could lose up to £600 a month, with others being forced to accept different shift patterns and performing different roles.
The overwhelming vote for strike action flies in the face of management's public claims that 95% of the staff are happy with their new contracts. Many care workers reluctantly signed the new contracts under duress after the intimidating approach by management.
This dispute mirrors the Doncaster care workers' struggle and highlights the dangers of outsourcing.
Unison members who transferred to Grwp Gwalia had their terms and conditions 'protected' by a TUPE transfer agreement for two years and it was exactly two years later, to the day, when Grwp Gwalia presented the workers with new contracts of employment with less pay and worse terms and conditions.
Labour councils across the country, like Neath/Port Talbot, try to portray outsourcing as a viable alternative in 'managing' the cuts but the example of Grwp Gwalia is yet another confirmation of workers being forced to pay the price because the Welsh Labour government and Labour councils refuse to fight the Con-Dem cuts.
Despite some local difficulties today's strike was a success with Unison members learning some important lessons in preparation for the next round of action.
Alec Thraves, Swansea Trades Council and Swansea Socialist Party
Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777
Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206
Regional Socialist Party organisers:
Eastern: 0798 202 1969
East Mids: 0773 797 8057
London: 020 8988 8786
North East: 0784 114 4890
North West 07954 376 096
South East: 020 8988 8777
South West: 07759 796 478
Southern: 07833 681910
Wales: 07935 391 947
West Mids: 02476 555 620
Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551