Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/17017
Rochdale 'Future Directions' strike solid
The strike action by 115 care workers in Rochdale continues. Privatised to a charity in 2006, and then taken over by a private care company before Christmas 2012, every aspect of terms and conditions - holidays, sick pay, enhancements - has come under attack from the new employer Future Directions, itself a wholly owned subsidiary of Calderstones NHS Trust (see the Socialist 767).
The court injunction which the company won to stop a strike over the spring bank holiday has not dented the confidence or resolve of the workers, and the first week in July will see the ninth day of strike action.
150 joined a noisy demonstration of support through Rochdale town centre on 29th June. Three Unison NEC members spoke at the rally, including Socialist Party member Roger Bannister, to show the importance of this dispute for the union.
The union has lodged nearly 100 unfair dismissal claims with the Employment Tribunal - as Unison steward John Morrison explained, the company knew it couldn't afford to run this contract unless it drove down pay and conditions, so it is in breach of TUPE legislation.
The strike is solid, and well supported in the town. None of the workers involved enjoys taking strike action but they care too much about their clients to see the service crumble if staff leave and are replaced by temporary or agency staff, which is what would happen if the employers succeed.
Messages of support to John Morrison at firstname.lastname@example.org
This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 1 July 2013 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.