Home care workers employed by Birmingham council in central England have been taking strike action and organising protests in the city against plans to cut hours and jobs. In the latest development, the council has said that full-time workers must reduce their hours. If they don't move to part-time work they will either have to take another job in the council or redundancy. This is a long-running dispute which has seen the workers take 17 days of strike action over several months (see February epsucob@NEWS 03).
Home care workers strike over threat to jobs and hours
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Hundreds of home care staff, members of the Unison trade union, joined a strike and demonstration in Birmingham in central England on 20 January in protest at plans to slash jobs and impose a new three-shift pattern on workers. The workers had voted by a massive majority to take strike action with the first stoppage running from 11.30 to 14.00 and with a further stoppage taking place on 6 February. The workers say that the new shift pattern (7.00-10.00; 12.00-14.00; 16.00-22.00) will make it impossible for them to have proper rest breaks and put the quality of care at risk. Around 150 jobs are