England: Sanctuary housing pay strikes bring repairs to halt

England: Sanctuary housing pay strikes bring repairs to halt

Pay strikes by Sanctuary workers in London are set to resume this month with the cancellation of more repair jobs from initial industrial action set to worsen.

Three days of strike action in late February and early March led to more than 200 repair jobs on Sanctuary Housing’s stock in London being cancelled, the Unite union said.

A further five days of strike action in March will cause increased delays to Sanctuary’s repair schedule.

Around 50 repair workers, who are based in Hackney but carry out repairs across London, are striking over a 4% pay rise imposed in 2023.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Sanctuary effectively slashed the wages of its workers in one of the most expensive cities on earth during the worst cost of living crisis in living memory. Making matters worse, Sanctuary is refusing to even speak to the workers’ union, Unite.

“It is disgusting that an organisation with such a massive surplus and that pays its chief executive such a huge salary treats its workers in this way. Our members are absolutely right to strike and they have Unite’s complete backing for as long as it takes.”

According to Unite, Sanctuary Housing has locked the union out of collective pay negotiations.

The workers will strike again on 20, 21, 22, 25 and 26 March. Industrial action will further escalate if the dispute is not resolved, the union added.

Unite regional officer Matt Freeman said: “Sanctuary has needlessly escalated this dispute and caused disruption to its tenants by its appalling behaviour towards these workers. Our members’ resolve is rock solid – Sanctuary cannot keep burying its head in the sand. It needs to enter negotiations with Unite and put forward an acceptable offer.”

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