Unite, the UK’s leading union, has slammed Tower Hamlets' privatisation of its initial assessment unit for elderly residents in need of assistance, as members of the unit go on strike.

Five assessment staff, who are Unite members, are striking from today (July 12) to Friday 16 July at being terminated as council employees and being transferred to Age UK East London. 

The workers, who are being moved to Age UK under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) Regulations 2006 (TUPE), were promised by the council they would not be transferred.

Unite said the move will reduce service quality for residents and needs to be stopped. 

Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon said: “As a Labour council, Tower Hamlets should not be contracting this service out for the sake of it. 

“While Age UK does an admirable job, our members are part of a wider team who deliver a highly specialised service to Tower Hamlets residents and the council should not be contracting this out to an external provider. 

“The transfer of these staff, who between them have decades of experience, out of the council, will negatively impact services and it will be the residents who rely on the service who will suffer. 

“Tower Hamlets gave guarantees to our members that they would remain council employees. The council must keep to its word and stop this privatisation.”


During the coronavirus crisis Unite is working to keep workers and the public safe, to defend jobs and to protect incomes.

For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: [email protected]

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.