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Clarion threatens to withdraw from union recognition

SEPTEMBER 25, 2018

New housing association Clarion, created through a merger of Affinity Sutton and Circle Housing, has angered union members by threatening to withdraw union recognition from a section of our members.

Unite members took part in a lobby of Clarion’s launch event, handing out leaflets to invited guests highlighting the refusal of Clarion’s management to engage with the trade unions in a positive way. Visitors to the launch event included senior politicians and many visitors expressed shock at the approach Clarion is taking to its workforce.

Unite Officer Adam Lambert believes that management are using the merger as a pretext to withdraw recognition from a section of our members and confirmed that the joint unions will be undertaking a consultative ballot of members for industrial action, opening the way to co-ordinated strike action in the New Year following this ‘aggressive move from management’.

Unite has called on the Chief Executive of the new group, Keith Exford, to meet with the unions immediately in order to avoid possible strike action, stating that if management are not prepared to work positively with the unions it will undermine staff confidence in management at a time of great uncertainty.

There will be a co-ordinated joint union campaign against the derecognition in the New Year and unions will be using political influence with local authorities to build support for the campaign, calling on Labour councils in particular to not work with ‘union busters’ when there are so many Housing Associations who value trade unions and respect workers’ rights, and will be calling on these councils to withdraw preferred bidder status from Clarion on new projects until union recognition is secured.

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