Members of Unite, the UK’s largest union, employed by Mears in Manchester are set to renew strike action in a longstanding dispute over pay after overwhelmingly voting for fresh strike action, the union announced today (Wednesday 18 October).
The 180 plus workers employed in housing maintenance work by Mears and Manchester Working have already taken over 40 days of strike action this year, workers are angry over pay differentials of up to £3,500 for workers doing the same role and attacks on terms and conditions.
Unite expects to issue the exact details of the strike action, which is set to be substantial, in the coming days and strikes will begin next month. The dispute is set to run during the period when bad weather increases the requirement for urgent repairs.
The workers undertake housing maintenance work on 12,000 properties managed by Northwards Housing Association in north Manchester. The contract was tendered by Manchester council.
Unite regional officer Gary Fairclough, said: “The overwhelmingly vote in favour of strike action demonstrates the determination of Unite members to force Mears to address the injustices in the workplace.
“The result shows that Mears’ is entirely deluded in thinking that the dispute would disappear.
“Rather than trying to end workplace injustice Mears has instead been using its energies to bully and intimidate our members. Attempts that the ballot result demonstrates have miserably failed.
“The impending industrial action will inevitably cause widespread disruption to housing tenants but this dispute is entirely a result of Mears’ failure to resolve this longstanding dispute.”
The new industrial action is being taken as a result of Mears failure to: meaningfully negotiate on pay and conditions, the detrimental treatment of workers during the previous dispute, attacks on workers’ holiday entitlement, allocation of work to sub-contractors, inappropriate allocation of work to apprentices, trainees and improvers and proposed unilateral changes to working hours and conditions for some of the affected workers.
For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.