Today, more than fifty UNISON home care workers from Birmingham visited the UNISON centre. It was a pleasure to meet them and talk with them about the strike action they’re taking to defend their jobs and their pay.
Their fight for decency has been long and hard. Today was their 17th day of industrial action, in a dispute that has lasted the best part of a year. No-one ever goes on strike lightly – especially when they’re low-paid workers. These care workers feel the impact personally – and know the impact strike action has on those they care for.
But they also know how important taking action is to defend their jobs – especially from triple shifts that would make their work days long and family life almost impossible.
And all of this the result of decisions by a Labour Council.
Of course, the cuts that local government faces as a result of austerity originate with the Conservative government in Westminster but the local Labour council in Birmingham shouldn’t be let off the hook – we won’t let them get away with this that easily. They need to be held account for their choices – and they are choices – to hit care workers so hard.
As a Labour member, I’m appalled to see a Labour council put these incredible public service workers in such an impossible position. And as your General Secretary, I’ll stand with home care workers every step of the way, demanding the council recognise their mistakes, and get this sorted once and for all.