The Socialist

The Socialist 5 May 2021

Fight the rotten establishment

The Socialist issue 1132

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"Victimised, bullied and discriminated" - St Mungo's strikers fight on

St Mungo's strike 26 April 2021

St Mungo's strike 26 April 2021   (Click to enlarge)

Paul Kershaw, Chair, Unite LE 1111 housing workers branch

St Mungo's strikers had a warm welcome when they addressed the Hackney May Day march on 1 May. Jackie and Vicko spoke at the start of the march. The property services workers have been on continuous strike since 22 April demanding an end to bullying and victimisation.

Marchers heard how a St Mungo's worker had returned from sick leave after surgery for cancer. Rather than being allowed to return gradually, she was expected to work through a backlog of tasks that had accumulated during her sick leave. This was contrary to advice given to the charity by its own occupational health practitioners.

When St Mungo's failed to properly investigate a grievance about bullying in the workplace - refusing to speak to twelve witnesses - the workers had no option but to strike. Far from seeking a solution, the management have put the rep who took out the grievance on a gross misconduct charge, which means he could lose his job.

Management argue that raising concerns about bullying had caused distress to senior managers and that this constitutes gross misconduct!

Another charge is that his reluctance to conduct a 'back to work' interview with the worker who was recovering from surgery amounted to insubordination.

Half of Unite reps at St Mungo's face formal HR processes about their own employment and 68% of respondents to a Unite survey said they had experienced bullying from senior management. St Mungo's management have refused to discuss this survey on the grounds that they do not see bullying as a collective issue.

One worker told us: "I just feel that I've been so grossly mistreated by management that I had to speak out and express to them how unhappy I was. I followed the processes in place at St Mungo's and as a result I was treated despicably! I am not happy and this is a reason why I've gone out on strike.

"I'm a union rep and I'm here to support our members. But they are targeting us. We have been victimised, bullied and discriminated. St Mungo's you are a bully! Do better!"

Unite believe that senior managers are attempting to intimidate the workforce and has appealed to Chief Executive Steve Douglas to rethink his position.


In this issue


What we think

Capitalist sleaze and cronyism


Union elections

Unite general secretary election nomination stage

Unison: We need a fighting, democratic, member-led union to stop the austerity attacks

Four Socialist Party members elected to NEU executive - a thirst for action and a fighting leadership


International news

Biden's policies will not solve underlying US crisis

Colombia: Mass trade union-led protests force tax retreat


Mental health

Covid, capitalism and mental health


News

Fight the rotten establishment

Hands off our NHS

New law ignores economic barriers to escaping domestic abuse

Cladding: Tories refuse to protect leaseholders again


Workplace news

St Mungo's strikers fight on

Goodlord strike forces talks - solidarity needed

Sparks block Cardiff building site against deskilling

Vote 'yes' in the PCS DWP ballot

Beal High School strike against sick policy resumes

Go Ahead offers deal to Manchester bus drivers

Metroline buses to face summer of strikes unless it drops 'remote sign-on'


Local government

Can the 'Preston model' beat the cuts?


Campaigns news

Bellway must pay! Make our homes safe!

Police attempt to intimidate Newcastle protesters

Nottingham NHS pay protest

Establishing factory sales of the Socialist in Leicester

Plaque dedicated to Tony Mulhearn

Why you should join the Socialist Party

Defend the right to protest - to resist bosses' attacks


Readers' opinion

The Socialist Inbox


 

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5 May 2021