Workers at Shelter, who provide advice and support to the homeless and badly housed, are fighting to defend their pay and conditions, as well as the core value of the organisation itself.
Shelter’s senior management have responded favourably to New Labour’s policy of tendering public services to the lowest bidder. Management are seeking to implement proposals that would see staff work extra hours for no extra pay, downgrade jobs, remove pay increments and see compulsory redundancies.
While telling dedicated, experienced workers they were not value for money, the charity’s head offices were refurbished at a cost of £750,000, new managers have been employed and senior management gave themselves a pay increase.
Workers at Shelter were left with no choice but to take industrial action. In March, a two-day strike was called for the first time in Shelter’s 41-year history. Picket lines have been well attended, with strong support from other union branches. London Solidarity Federation members went along to join the picket on the second day but found the workers had had to rush off to catch a meeting that management had rescheduled and only informed them at the last minute.
Strike action continued in April and May, when striking Shelter workers joined the May Day march and spoke from the platform. No new strike dates have yet been announced.
You can keep up with the dispute on the National Shop Stewards Network website: http://www.shopstewards.net
You can send Messages of support to: firstname.lastname@example.org