VIDEO: UNISON march through town in support of Care UK strikers

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UNISON members took part in a march through Doncaster town centre today in support of the Care UK workers currently taking industrial action against pay and conditions.

UNISON union regional organiser Jim Bell explained why the march had been organised: “We are at deadlock it’s as simple as that. The company is not making any concessions and we’re not weakening.

“The support for us is growing nationally and internationally, we have had messages of support from abroad, and at the rally on Sunday we will decide on further industrial action.”

Care UK managers are confident that a comprehensive plan and great team work over the last ten days has ensured that lives have continued as normal in the service that supports 140 Doncaster people with learning disabilities.

Care UK’s director of learning disability services Chris Hindle said: “We have seen a clear weakening of interest among Unison member to continue this action over the past few days.

“Over 40 per cent of Unison members have chosen not to strike this time. Those taking strike action represent fewer than 30 per cent of the total workforce, many of whom are not Unison members. Our contingency plans have delivered an excellent level of safe, high quality support for service users during this and previous strikes and, at the end of the day, we must remember that the service is commissioned by the local authority which is facing a genuine struggle to meet a growing demand with tighter and tighter budgets. Whichever provider was chosen to deliver this service would have had to reduce costs in some way and our proposal which protected jobs, basic salaries and allowed those transferring into the service to retain their generous NHS pensions was a fair option.”

The strike finishes at 7am on Monday, and will be the end of two weeks of industrial action, totalling 34 days over a three month period.

The Care UK employees were joined on the picket line this week by UNISON’s General Secretary, Dave Prentis.