The hardline stance of St Mungo’s management will mean that the homeless of Hitchin face a bleak midwinter over the Christmas and New Year period.
Because the management refuses to align the pay and conditions of the five project workers with the rest of the workforce, the staff at the 17-bed Nightingale Road hostel will reluctantly strike over 12 days this Christmas.
The staff will strike from 15.00 on Sunday 22 December to 15.00 on Friday 3 January. This follows a week-long strike earlier this month.
Unite regional officer Nicky Marcus said: "This is a really sad situation. Our members want to provide a comprehensive service for the homeless of North Hertfordshire over the festive period, some of the most vulnerable people in our society.
“But the management of St Mungo’s refuses to recognise the need to align the pay and conditions of the project workers with the rest of the charity’s workforce, as was previously promised. The total cost of this exercise would be just £5,000-a-year.
“Our members were touched by the support and understanding they received from the local community when they took industrial action earlier this month.
“Unite would like to settle this dispute in time for Christmas and our door is open for talks, but there has to be movement from the management.
“Our members in outer London were offered £175 a shift to cover the last strike. What a disgrace that management would rather throw charitable money at denying our members in Hitchin the same rights as other staff, rather than simply honour an arrangement made and budgeted for months ago.
“Our members in Hitchin are receiving less pay and working more hours than other staff doing the same jobs in St Mungo’s. They are being refused any sick pay whatsoever. This injustice needs to be remedied.”
The management has reneged on an agreement to assimilate the staff, who had been working at the hostel under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations, onto the St Mungo’s terms and conditions at a total cost of under £5,000 a year.
For further information please contact Nicky Marcus on 07980 721425 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey