Tower Hamlets council staff set to strike again from tomorrow in long-running pay dispute, says UNISON

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 cut​s 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 R​oad) 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.

Media contacts:
Emma Davey M: 074327 33187 E: