All Around the UK subcategories:
UK Towns and cities keywords:
Bron Afon workers strike against £3,000 pay cut
Dave Reid, Socialist Party Wales
Support workers for Bron Afon housing association in Cwmbran, south Wales, have taken their third day of strike action against a £3,000 annual pay cut imposed by management on the staff in the Supported Living Team.
The workers provide assistance to vulnerable people over the age of 50 in their own homes, helping them access benefits and acting as their advocates with housing and financial problems. They provide practical support too for those with mental health issues, addictions and those who have experienced domestic abuse.
But when Bron Afon renegotiated its contract with Torfaen council, it cut the workers' wages from £23,572 to £20,416 and increased the workload. Increasing client numbers under the new contract means staff are having to work even harder for significantly less pay.
The mood was high on the picket line on 21 July as workers from other Unison branches and Cardiff and Newport trade union councils mobilised to support them on their third strike day.
If Bron Afon can get away with cutting wages as the funding cuts bite then that will set the bench mark for care companies and other housing associations to follow in a race to the bottom of wage levels and working conditions.
Torfaen council, which has councillors on the Bron Afon board, is getting a service from Bron Afon workers at cut-price wage levels.
The strike at Bron Afon emphasises the dangers of the outsourcing epidemic that has engulfed Welsh council workers. Most of the councils boast of being living wage employers, including Torfaen, but this claim is completely undermined as all the councils in Wales, mostly Labour councils, are forcing down the wages of outsourced workers.
The next strike date is 3 August. You can send messages of support to Unison members at Bron Afron - send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Read more at socialistpartywales.org.uk/news328
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