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Housing Workers fightback against a continued attack to working rights and conditions

JANUARY 29, 2020

Wishaw housing dispute - Strike fund launched and board member resigns following criticism of the handling by Chief Executive of the long running dispute.

Eddie Mullen, the former vice-chair of Wishaw & District Housing Association has resigned, criticising the way its chief executive has handled a long-running dispute with workers saying that the chief executive, Niall Gordon has been ‘heavy handed’ and has given the board ‘inaccurate’ information in relation to a dispute over working conditions. He also says that the chief executive failed to inform staff about an offer that the board wanted to make to try to solve part of the dispute.

Over the last three years, Unite members at Wishaw & District Housing Association have accepted reductions to their pensions, cuts to their wages, their bereavement leave being reduced almost by half, and lunchtime opening to provide a better service to tenants. But new proposals to further undermine working rights has been seen as a cut too far and members have seen no option other than take industrial action.

Unite has tried to negotiate with the Association’s Chief Executive and Board with little success and despite offering alternatives on savings, none of these have been taken up. Unite firmly believes that the newly proposed cuts will not save money, and don’t understand why they are being forced on members at a time when the Association is making a surplus.

Unite regional officer Gordon Casey believes that all his members want is fair working conditions, dignity at work and some basic respect for their hard work and the sacrifices they have already made. But sees the new proposals put forward by the housing association - to slash four days’ holiday a year from the staff and to increase their working week by 30 minutes (the equivalent of four additional working days a year) are simply expecting workers to work harder and longer for far less reward.

He believes that this is yet another assault on workers in a long series of attacks that have reduced the pay and conditions of workers at Wishaw Housing Association and affirms strong support for the workers in their sustained industrial action. 

Since September, members have taken part in 12 days of strike action at the association and Unite has launched a nationwide strike fund appeal to support them. Unite regional officer Gordon Casey said: “We are asking all our branches to contribute to the Wishaw strike fund – including all our branches throughout the housing association sector. The union is determined that our members at Wishaw get all the support they need in their fight for fair conditions.

To donate to the strike fund you can send cheques payable to “Unite the Union” to Gordon Casey, (WHA), John Smith House, 145-165 West Regent Street, Glasgow, G2 4RZ or you can send bacs payment to :-

Sort code 60-83-01

Account Number 33204077

Unite Scotland Group Account

Reference:- Wishaw HA

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