Bron Afon victory

Support workers at Bron Afon Housing Association in Cwmbran have ended their strike after accepting a much-improved offer from management.

The Unison members were set to lose an average of £3000 a year but after 9 days of strike action, forced management to agree to hand over an extra £1500 a year per worker, consolidated, as well one-off cash payments.

Management did not back down on plans to take the 18 workers out of pay progression; instead they are on “spot salaries” which means pay increases are determined by a company review every year.

But Bron Afon will be wary of attempting to railroad through more cuts to the conditions of these workers. Despite a recommendation to accept from the union, members voted only very narrowly against continuing action, their confidence boosted by a message of support from Jeremy Corbyn on their last picket, and wider groups of the workforce were beginning to be drawn into the dispute.

This is a victory for other workers whose jobs have been outsourced from Welsh councils. Other third sector employers will have noticed the determined and courageous fight by Bron Afon support workers and think again before railroading through cuts in workers’ pay and conditions.