Support striking St Mungos workers

Workers at St Mungo’s hostel in Hitchin are staging a seven-day strike, the first strike in St Mungo’s history. This is the result of a new macho management style. The fighting response forms part of a growing pattern of support workers fighting back when they know their union backs them. More strikes are planned if management does not see sense.

Managers have gone back on an agreement made when they took over the ‘North Herts. Sanctuary’ in Hitchin to move staff on to St Mungo’s terms and conditions. The workers, members of the Unite LE 1111 housing branch, have moved to a more onerous shift pattern to help improve the service but the terms and conditions have remained unchanged.

The cost of adhering to the original agreement would be no more than £4,871 a year. It would mean that staff would be entitled to sick pay on a non-discretionary basis.

The shocking practice at the hostel has been for senior management to automatically refuse sick pay.

For example, managers have refused sick pay in the case of staff undergoing exploratory procedures in a suspected cancer case and for surgery. This has led workers to postpone vital medical procedures because they can’t afford the time off.

Pickets have been supported by local people, and have been joined by activists from Stevenage trades council. Unite members are determined that workers must be treated decently and that union agreements must be kept.

Send solidarity messages to [email protected] Strike fund: account name Unite Housing Workers branch 1111, account number 20040639, sort code 08-60-01. Please reference all payments “St Mungo’s Hitchin strike”