Wednesday 12 August 2020
For immediate release
Tower Hamlets council staff set to strike again from tomorrow in long-running pay dispute, says UNISON
Tower Hamlets council staff, including social workers and environmental health staff, are to take a further three days of action in a long-running dispute over the local authority’s decision to sack and re-employ them on inferior contracts, says UNISON today (Wednesday).
The latest strikes planned for 13, 14 and 17 August follow six successful days of industrial action in June and July.
The action is in protest at the new Tower Rewards contract, which will see staff lose vital allowances and pay cuts for out of hours work, according to UNISON.
The dispute came to a head on 6 July when the Labour council pushed ahead with its plan to sack and rehire the majority of its workforce in the middle of the pandemic, says the union.
UNISON Tower Hamlets branch secretary John Mcloughlin said: “This dispute has attracted messages of support from across the country. People are shocked that workers who’ve been applauded as essential in supporting the community through the pandemic can be treated like this.”
UNISON Tower Hamlets assistant branch Secretary Kerie Anne said: “The council will try to downplay the effect of strike action. But this unfair contract has shown councillors in a very negative light. We urge them to get back around the table and bring this dispute to an end.”
Notes to editors:
– Socially distanced pickets will take place outside Albert Jacobs House, John Onslow House, Mile End Hospital, Mulberry Place, Poplar Idea Store, Tower Hamlets Car Pound (Commercial Road) and Whitechapel Idea Store. Photographs are available on request.
– UNISON’S general secretary Dave Prentis has written an open letter to Mayor John Biggs, which can be found here. For background to the dispute click here, and here for the latest branch newsletter.
– UNISON is the UK’s largest union, with more than 1.3 million members providing public services – in education, local government, the NHS, police service and energy. They are employed in the public, voluntary and private sectors.
Emma Davey M: 074327 33187 E: firstname.lastname@example.org