Care workers at the Sage care home in North London struck from 15-17 January, demanding wages of at least £12/hour, parity of conditions, including sick pay, with NHS staff, and recognition of their union, United Voices of the World (UVW). They will strike again 4-8 February.
Legal advice obtained by UVW, which suggested the exemption previously afforded to protests and picket under lockdown restrictions may have been withdrawn, scuppered plans for a safely-distanced physical picket line on the first day of the strike. A well-attended virtual strike rally took place instead, at which numerous strikers spoke, as well as supporters including John McDonnell MP and Nadia Whittome MP.
Strikers emphasised the centrality of their demand for full sick pay, making clear that not being able to afford to take time off work for sickness or self-isolation put both workers and care home residents at greatly increased risk during the pandemic.
Physical pickets did take place on the second and third days of the strike. A petition in support of the strike has garnered over 75,000 signatures.
For more information on the campaign, including how to donate to the workers’ strike fund, see here