Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/505/3249
Bolton care workers fight on
Bolton Council is attempting to cut holiday and sick pay for carers by removing the right to claim for 'sleep-ins' (overnight shifts in care homes – an essential part of many carers' duties and wages).
On 1 and 2 October care workers went on strike against these attacks. On the second day, a meeting was held to discuss what further action should be taken. This was impressively attended by 81 strikers.
Speaking with the socialist this week, Florence Hill, chairperson of Bolton Unison, described the mood at the meeting as "unified and resolute". She said: "No one is prepared to give up. We are all eager to take the next step in this struggle, should it prove necessary."
With the Council still unwilling to enter into negotiations it was decided at Tuesday's meeting that the most effective course of action would now be to refuse to work 'sleep-ins' until the dispute is satisfactorily resolved.
When the employers have to face up to the disruption that a strike on 'sleep-ins' would cause, they may be forced to acknowledge the crucial part that 'sleep-ins' play in the work of many carers: a part that should clearly be reflected in holiday and sick pay.
Florence told the socialist: "We've still not heard anything from the employers. Right now we are in the process of consulting with our lawyers and Unison regional office to reach a final decision about how best to proceed."
The move to boycott sleep-ins could go ahead sometime early next week.
In The Socialist 11 October 2007:
Socialist Party NHS campaign
What we think
War and terrorism
Socialist Party news and analysis
Socialist Party feature
International socialist news and analysis
Workplace news and analysis