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Posted on 11 July 2017 at 11:17 GMT

Mears strike, photo by Becci Heagney

Mears strike, photo by Becci Heagney   (Click to enlarge)

Mears workers escalate action to all-out strike

Becci Heagney

Unite members working for Mears in Manchester have started an all-out strike. These housing maintenance workers have been taking strike action three days a week since 15 May, holding many good protests and picket lines, but as the company has refused to talk they have escalated the action.

Workers are fighting huge differences in pay and an attempt to bring in attacks on holiday pay, sick pay and other terms and conditions. Many of them have refused to sign the new contract as well.

After pressure, Greater Manchester metro-mayor Andy Burnham helped to organise a meeting between Mears and Unite on Thursday 6 July, but nobody from Mears bothered to attend. Meanwhile, around 100 of the workers were protesting outside Manchester town hall.

Mears strikers, photo by Becci Heagney

Mears strikers, photo by Becci Heagney   (Click to enlarge)

Mears is hoping it can hold out until the end of the strike action and that workers will be forced back to work. However, the Unite members are extremely determined to win this dispute and are balloting for further action. As part of the escalation, no emergency call out work is being done either.

Mears is trying to tell Northwards tenants (a housing association that it does maintenance work for) that the appointments are fully booked because the company is busy, not because its workers are on strike!

Manchester and Salford Socialist Party branches are giving full solidarity to the strike and we have been doing all we can to build support for it.


This version of this article was first posted on the Socialist Party website on 11 July 2017 and may vary slightly from the version subsequently printed in The Socialist.

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