Unite members at Equinox Care, the drug and alcohol services charity, have today (12 June) gone on strike for a second day over proposed pay cuts.
Unite said that all of nearly 70 members of the union among Equinox’s 126 staff were taking part, although this was disputed by the charity.
The union said the strike was taking place because the charity was imposing pay cuts of between £4,000 and £8,000 a year on some front-line staff, at a time when the charity’s chief executive will receive a performance-related pay bonus.
It is the second day of strike action at the charity in the past fortnight.
The union accused the charity’s management of ignoring its requests to continue talks.
"Telephone calls have not been returned, emails remain unanswered, and the reps have been told that management is either working from home, unavailable or simply ‘not here’," said Nicky Marcus, a regional officer for Unite. "The management has adopted a radio-silence policy to the legitimate protests of its employees."
Unite claimed the charity’s management was victimising relief workers who refused to cross the picket lines by blacklisting them from future employment at Equinox, and warned of more strike action to follow.
But Equinox said it was business as usual at the charity today and disputed the claim that all Unite’s members had come out in support of the strike.
"The claim that there has been any victimisation of staff is a lie," said Bill Puddicombe, chief executive of Equinox Care. "It is also a lie to say we have refused talks. We have received one email which we responded to by saying we will sit down and talk once they halt industrial action. The consultation is over and the vast majority of staff have signed agreements to alter their contracts, so that is that."