Hundreds of home care workers in Scotland strike for pay justice

Workers in three local council areas in Scotland have been taking strike action for pay justice this week. Photo: Matt Dobson

Hundreds of home care workers are striking for pay justice. Socialist Party Scotland offers our full support to these workers in the fight for decent and equal pay that recognises the vital and skilled job home care workers carry out.

The following is the text of a Socialist Party Scotland (CWI) leaflet being distributed on picket lines and among local communities:

The strikes in Falkirk, Renfrewshire and West Dunbartonshire are the tip of the iceberg. The truth is that Scottish councils have treated tens of thousands of low paid mainly women workers disgracefully for years.

These are, at root, the same issues that led to the equal pay uprising in Glasgow in 2018 – a 48 hour strike that shut down council services and eventually delivered £770 million for 15 years of unequal pay and grading.

Every home care worker knows that the job has changed dramatically, but pay has remained at scandalously low levels. From the increasing complexity of client needs, administering medication, increased administration and working with services like NHS Scotland and social work, the skills and experience of staff are just not being recognised.

What other choice is there but to strike until the politicians and top council bosses listen and act?

As we know, strike action is the real powerful weapon that workers have to effect change. As was the case in Glasgow in 2018, or the recent strike wave in 2022/23 which saw hundreds of thousands of workers take action, strike action delivers.

All unions involved should seek to coordinate action as widely as possible. Including organising strike ballots in other areas of Scotland where unequal pay is rife. Enough is enough.

Workers need and deserve pay rises to tackle the cost of living nightmare and to make up for years of being underpaid.

Cuts politicians

Politicians of all the parties represented in the council chambers – not least the SNP and Labour – as well as the Scottish parliament – are culpable for this situation.

They have shown no resistance to the continued war against local government. They claim they have no alternative. Yet time and time again trade unionists and socialists have pointed the way forward. Refuse to make the council cuts, set no cuts budgets and join with the trade unions and local communities to fight for the funding that is needed for equal pay and to run all the services that communities need.

That’s why we need politicians who act rather than talk. If they are not prepared to act in our interests then they need removed and replaced with councillors, MSPs and MPs who will do that.

We urgently need a new workers’ party that unites trade unionists and socialists armed with a socialist programme.

More and more trade unionists are reaching the conclusions that the existing cuts-making political parties have little real differences. Only mass struggle and a genuine political alternative can defeat them.

Socialist Party Scotland is spearheading, with the Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, a socialist general election challenge with fighting trade unionists as candidates.

Our members play a key role in local government trade unions in Scotland, including in Glasgow where Glasgow City UNISON helped lead the 2018 equal pay strike. socialism

We stand for the building of a socialist society based on the public ownership of major industries and banks etc.under the control of the working class.

The money is there. Just last week the wealth of just over 2,000 of the world’s billionaires was found to have risen to over $14 trillion. It’s time to take the wealth of the rich and big business and only socialism can do that.

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April 2024