‘Brutal pay cuts’
Living Wage Foundation urged to end Goodlord accreditation as indefinite strikes begin
Around 20 Unite members employed in Goodlord’s London-based referencing department, which provides tenant checks for estate agents, had been on discontinuous strike since February 22.
But on March 1 the workers escalated their industrial action to an indefinite strike, meaning they will not return to work until the dispute is resolved.
The dispute centres on fire and rehire plans that would see the pay of Goodlord’s referencing staff plummet – from £24,000 to £18,000.
Goodlord is accredited as a Living Wage Foundation employer. However the cuts would see Goodlord’s referencing staff earn less than the Foundation’s London living wage of £21,157.
Referencing staff are the only workers employed by the company to have been singled out for fire and rehire attacks.
Impacted workers have been told by the company that since they are now expected to work permanently from home after their central London office was closed in October, they do not need to live in London. This is despite having been originally employed on the basis that they lived close enough to the office to commute each day.
“This dispute has already caused disruption to Goodlord’s clients, including Winkworth, Best Estate Agents, Andrews and Featherstone Leigh,” commented Unite regional officer Steve O’Donnell.
“Indefinite strike action means that service interruptions will now continue every day until this dispute is settled.
“Goodlord’s appalling attempts to use Covid as a cover to slash the wages and terms and conditions of its lowest paid staff is doing immeasurable damage to its reputation.
“In fact Unite has contacted the Living Wage Foundation to ask that Goodlord be removed from its website as an accredited employer, as these brutal cuts mean it no longer qualifies,” he added.
O’Donnell concluded, “Unite urges Goodlord to table an offer that our members can accept. Until that happens, strikes will continue indefinitely and Goodlord’s services and reputation will continue to suffer.”
By Ryan Fletcher