Mears workers vote for further strike action

Mears workers in Manchester have voted overwhelmingly for more strike action in their longstanding dispute over pay.

The 180+ Unite members employed in housing maintenance work have already taken more than 40 days of strike action this year. They are angry over pay differentials of up to £3,500 for workers doing the same role and attacks on terms and conditions.

Unite expects to issue the exact details of the strike action, which is set to be substantial, in the coming days and strikes will begin next month. The dispute is set to run during the period when bad weather increases the requirement for urgent repairs.

The workers undertake housing maintenance work on 12,000 properties managed by Northwards Housing Association in north Manchester. The contract was tendered by Manchester council.

Unite regional officer Gary Fairclough, said: “The overwhelmingly vote in favour of strike action demonstrates the determination of Unite members to force Mears to address the injustices in the workplace. The result shows that Mears’ is entirely deluded in thinking that the dispute would disappear.

“Rather than trying to end workplace injustice Mears has instead been using its energies to bully and intimidate our members. Attempts that the ballot result demonstrates have miserably failed. The impending industrial action will inevitably cause widespread disruption to housing tenants but this dispute is entirely a result of Mears’ failure to resolve this longstanding dispute.”

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