Freebridge Community Housing paying poverty wages despite £3.6m surplus 

Nearly 60 Freebridge Community Housing workers will strike over poverty pay, Unite, the UK’s leading union, said today (Friday). 

Many of the workers, who perform a variety of roles, including in cleaning and maintenance, are paid little more than the national minimum wage and many are struggling to pay their bills.  

They are angry that Freebridge has offered them a five per cent increase and a £500 non-consolidated payment, despite the association’s robust financial health. This is a significant, real terms pay cut when the real rate of inflation, RPI, stands at 10.7 per cent. 

Freebridge had a total turnover of £32 million and a surplus of £3.57 million in 2022 and increased its rents by seven per cent this year. 

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Freebridge is in robust financial health and should be paying these workers properly. Unite will not stand for attacks on our members’ jobs, pay or conditions and the workforce at Freebridge will receive their union’s total support.”  

The workers will strike on 21, 29, 30 and 31 August and on 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8 September. The strike action will severely impact Freebridge’s cleaning and maintenance services and will intensify if the dispute is not resolved. 

Unite regional officer Steve Harley said: “The disruption that will be caused to tenants is entirely the fault of the association. It can absolutely afford to pay our members, who are struggling financially, a reasonable pay rise. That is what needs to happen.” 


For media enquires ONLY contact senior Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215 or 020 3371 2065

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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 Sharon Graham.