Manchester Protest Planned in Ongoing Housing Maintenance Dispute

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Manchester Protest Planned in Ongoing Housing Maintenance Dispute

Members of Unite, the UK’s largest construction union, will be demonstrating outside the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Housing 2017 conference in Manchester tomorrow (Thursday, 29th June).

The protest will be part of the union’s long-running dispute with private contractor Mears and joint venture company Manchester Working (operated by Mears), over pay differentials resulting in workers being paid up to £3,500 less for doing the same work.

The 170-plus housing maintenance workers employed by the two organisations will be taking part in their 16th day of strike action.

The dispute also concerns attacks on terms and conditions of the Mears workforce. The company is seeking to introduce a new contract which increases hours, introduces flexible working and requires the greater use of technology.

Mears is further seeking to introduce a ‘productivity procedure’ which has been described as a ‘sackers’ charter,’ and, claims Unite, is trying to pressurise the workforce to accept poorer conditions regarding sick pay and vehicle policies.

The demonstration – taking place from 8.30am at Manchester Central Convention Complex – coincides with the Charted Institute of Housing’s Housing 2017 conference.

Unite’s Regional Co-ordinating Officer, Andy Fisher, said: Mears and Northwards Housing have got to stop pretending that it is business as normal. They are both involved in a long-running and bitter industrial dispute, and workers are going to challenge their presence at every possible juncture.

“This dispute would never have occurred if housing services hadn’t repeatedly been split up and sold off. Not only is this inefficient and expensive; it sowed the seeds for the present dispute. We hope that the new deal for devolution in Manchester will result in housing services being brought back in house under democratic control.”


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