Staff at housing association One Housing Group will strike for a further three days next week, as the hardline management continues to reject attempts by conciliation service Acas to kick-start talks.
Members of Unite, the country’s largest union, voted overwhelmingly for strike action, following management's decision to impose swingeing wage cuts to more than 200 frontline supported housing staff from February 2014.
About 150 workers took three days of successful strike action last month which caused considerable disruption – and will stage another three days of strikes on 24, 25 and 26 July. The main picket line will be at One Housing’s headquarters at 100 Chalk Farm Road, London NW1 8EH - and at 10 other OHG sites across the capital.
Unite is highly critical of One Housing Group’s chief executive Mick Sweeney for accepting a £31,000 hike in pay and bonuses, while asking the support workers to accept cuts of up to £8,000-a-year, averaging £2,000 for most.
Unite national officer for the not for profit sector Sally Kosky said: “Following the strike action last month which saw One Housing Group services all over London significantly disrupted or closed entirely, we were led to understand that management had indicated that it was prepared to talk.
“However, no formal discussions were subsequently scheduled. We simply can’t understand why a company that purports to care about its staff would not explore every avenue in an attempt to resolve this dispute and why Mick Sweeney won’t involve himself.
“Acas has telephoned One Housing Group on several occasions, hoping to broker an agreement, but the company consistently and inexplicably simply refuses to engage.”
“Except for senior management, One Housing Group has made no pay awards for the last four years. Now it has removed the non consolidated bonus paid to all staff for the past two years. At the same time, One Housing Group continues to expand, its surpluses are increasing and pay at the top continues to climb exponentially.
"We urge Mick Sweeney to come to his senses; pause and talk to us before the reputation of One Housing amongst its staff, service users and stakeholders is irrevocably damaged by management's intransigence.”
Unite members voted by a margin of 83.7 per cent in favour of strike action, as One Housing Group continues to win massive – and lucrative – contracts from local authorities.
For further information, please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.