Representatives of care workers at a Jewish nursing home in Golders Green say they are taking action against the owners for “a breach of human rights”.
Workers at Sage Nursing Home, who have been on the frontline of the pandemic, have been asking for a living wage of £12 per hour and levels of sick pay enjoyed by the NHS, and have now staged two strikes over the matter.
Their union, the UVW, now allege “victimisation” of staff based on their union membership, with 14 staff members – including carers, cleaners, and maintenance workers – now alleging a breach of their human rights.
Union rep Molly de Dios Fisher said: “After trying and failing to negotiate with [Sage] for seven months, workers voted for strike action. This prompted Sage’s trustees to send them a letter where our members were told to vote against strike action.
“It was also suggested a vote in favour could lead to job losses, risk to their employment, and more absurdly, ‘intimidation from the union’. This is a clear case of trade union victimisation.”
The first strike, in January, lasted for four days, while a second strike in February lasted for three days. The union has taken issue with a letter sent by the home’s trustees during a ballot for industrial action in October.
The union said its claim “will be heard at an Employment Tribunal whilst a second individual claim for victimisation is also being brought by a former employee”.
A Sage spokesman said it “wholeheartedly endorses every individual’s fundamental human rights. It does not and has not victimised any of its hardworking staff on the basis of their trade union activities or membership.”
UVW has made numerous false allegations against Sage in the media as part of their long running campaign for pay increases that are simply unaffordable for a loss making charity and it continues to do so. Sage looks forward to having the opportunity to defend itself in due course in the appropriate forum. It would be inappropriate to comment further on the allegations which UVW has chosen to drip feed into the media given that they will be determined by judicial process.”
In the meantime Sage remains committed to providing the best possible care for our residents and the best possible working environment for our staff.”
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