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Social landlord's staff begin four-day strike

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Social landlord's staff begin four-day strike

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing

Social landlord's staff begin four-day strike Social landlord's staff begin four-day strike

Social landlord One Housing Group has seen some of its staff begin a four-day strike today in support of a union rep who they allege has been "victimised".

Members of the union Unite voted 89% in favour of strike action, which is affecting sites across London and the South East.

Unite is concerned that its rep is being "victimised", claiming that he was suspended immediately before a negotiation meeting in which the union says it was due to raise concerns about a six-year pay freeze imposed on staff, but not for top executives.

OHG has categorically denied that there is a six-year pay freeze in place and has condemned the strike.

The social landlord also denies that the Unite rep's suspension had anything to do with pay negotiations.

In a statement, OHG said: "The small number of Unite members involved in coordinating this action are in possession of the facts but choose to ignore them. Instead they are seeking to exploit this situation for their own purposes. This strike action is completely unjustified and malicious in intent and we ask Unite to call off the protest. Just 55 One Housing Group Unite members voted in favour of strike action representing less than 5% of the Group's workforce."

Unite claims that OHG's management has spurned repeated attempts by the union to discuss industrial relations at the association under the auspices of the conciliation service, Acas.

Unite regional officer Nicky Marcus said: “Unfortunately, this is an employer with ‘form’ in terms of the way it treats staff representatives - if they don’t like the message, they shoot the messenger.

“This is a particularly inappropriate management style for an organisation responsible for supporting vulnerable clients.

“We would appeal to the management to take up our invitations to talk and to reconsider its hardline approach to industrial relations.”

The strike began at 8am today and will end on 10 June.

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