Friday 23 June 2017

Support Manchester housing maintenance strikers

180 Unite members employed by Manchester Working Limited / Mears, who carry out vital maintenance in the city, have been been in dispute for five weeks and are currently striking on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. Today they held an impressive protest outside the Northwards Housing office in Blackley.

The workers are paid appallingly for skilled and often safety-critical work. Manchester City Council has a substantial stake in Manchester Working Limited, and it is particularly disgraceful after Grenfell Tower that Manchester residents are still facing attempts to do maintenance on the cheap. Strikers have already protested at Manchester town hall.

I understand that their low pay is being used as a "benchmark" by other employers to try to hold down wages elsewhere.

Strikers are discussing escalating the action to every day, but under the Tory Trade Union Act Unite would have to give two weeks' notice to the employer. They need more financial support to sustain and escalate the action.

A letter appealing for support has been issued by Unite's north-west region. You can support the strikers by:
  1. Visiting pickets, typically 7:30-10am on strike days, at Hendham Vale, by the junction of Hazelbottom Road and Vale Park Way (map
  2.  Donate to the strike fund by cheque payable to UCATT UD.393 Manchester 1st Branch, sent to Andy Fisher, Unite, 2 Churchill Way, Liverpool, L3 8EF, or online to account 46034412 sort code 60-83-01.
  3. Send a message of support to Colin Pitt via
  4. Join a protest on Thursday 29 June from 9am at Manchester Central Convention Complex (GMEX), where Mears will be meeting from 11am with other employers in their industry