For the first time in its operational history staff at one of London’s largest housing associations - One Housing Group - will be balloted for industrial action.
The ballot follows management's decision to impose thousands of pounds of wage cuts to 250 frontline supported housing staff from February 2014, with the additional punishment of immediate cuts for those who fail to sign up to them.
In addition, One management has created two zones, inner and outer London, with outer London workers to be paid £1,000-a-year less than those in inner London.
Unite regional officer Nicky Marcus said: “According to One management ‘outer' London boroughs now absurdly include Southwark, Tower Hamlets and Lambeth, which I am sure will come as a surprise to the local authority planners working with One Housing Group.
“We have contacted the Advisory Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) in the hope that it will be able to facilitate and mediate further negotiation, but in a display of utter contempt for the workforce One management has flatly refused to even attend talks.
“Instead of working with us, One management is stubbornly sticking to the position that there is no mileage in further negotiation as it has fulfilled its obligation to ‘consult’. This intransigence leaves us with no option but to ballot our members for industrial action.
“Its ‘sign now and take the pain in 2014 or refuse to sign and take the pain now’ is an intimidatory tactic betraying a desperate management afraid to publicly justify its actions to Acas.
“Unite has tried everything to dissuade One management from this unjustified bullying and unfair imposition for which there is an absence of logic or financial imperative.
“One Housing Group’s refusal to meet at Acas is yet another in a series of poor management decisions, which includes the CEO's recent £31,000 salary boost, while slashing support workers’ wages by up to £8,000.”
For further information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940.
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.