Local activists and Brent TUC joined St Mungos strikers on the picket line in Willesden this morning to show solidarity with their struggle for a decent pay rise to address the 25% real terms reduction in their wages and the erosion caused by inflation.
Outside the St Mungos facility in Pound Lane
Like many charities St Mungos has left its roots to be more of a corporate enterprise with highly paid executives and low paid workers actually on the front line working with the homeless. The changes, as with housing associations comes about as charities and the third sector are called upon to perform functions abandoned by the welfare state.
The support from the public for the strikers came over loud and clear as passing traffic tooted in solidarity.
That support will be demonstrated again when a Solidarity Rally, addressed by Dawn Butler, takes place at noon on Friday June 16th outside Brent Civic Centre in Wembley Park.
The Civic Centre is an appropriate venue as St Mungos gets the majority of its funding from local authorities, many London boroughs, including Brent. The strikers are keen that councils put pressure on the St Mungos management to negotiate a fair deal. Half the workforce of 1,600 are unionised and many taking part in strikes, leading to agency workers with little experience attempting to deliver the service for which the borough pays.
If the contract is failing to deliver there may be a case for councils to suspend their contracts.