The fight for fair pay at the Sage Nursing Home in North London continues. Cici Washburn reports from the picket line
UVW Workers at Sage Nursing Home in Golders Green were on strike on Thursday fighting for decent pay and sick pay. All of these workers are either on minimum wage or just above minimum wage - they are fighting for £12 an hour. These workers who have worked in the hardest of situations, putting their lives at risk, throughout the pandemic with no sick pay have been in dispute for over a year and are on their third strike.
The picket line was lively, angry and determined, with many other care workers joining in solidarity.
Daniel who was part of a major victory to bring outsourced cleaners at London School of Economics back in-house spoke to the striking workers saying that he worked in the care sector for an agency in the late ’90s on £13 an hour and said it was outrageous that in 2021 these workers are fighting for £12 an hour. He said to the strikers “Don’t give up with your fight, continue your fight and continue to fight in unity”
One worker who works in the laundry room for Sage spoke of how she has worked there for eight years, works 8-hour shifts, 6 days a week for £8.90 an hour. She says she loves her job and doesn’t want to leave, she wants to fight for better pay.
Many workers told of how Sage bosses respond to demands for a pay rise by saying they can’t because they are a charity and that the owners of the care home are billionaires that also own other care homes. Also reiterated was the serious failure of this country when it comes to social care and how these residents are being made, often at the cost of selling their homes to pay 100k a year to be at the home while the workers looking after them are paid the pitiful minimum wage.
Care worker Julia and other carers spoke of how after the pandemic there is a shortage of staff in these homes, Julia said “We used to work four or five people on a floor, now many times we are working only two people, with the same hours, the same amount of money and without any respect” All the workers were united in saying that as well as themselves, the residents deserve better.
The picket took over the road chanting ‘The workers united will never be defeated’ and marched to Freshwater House to send a message to one of the billionaire trustees, letting him know that they deserve a decent wage.
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