Care Crisis Part 2

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Joined: 6-01-07
Nov 16 2015 16:02
Care Crisis Part 2

There have been a number of libcom blogs/discussion threads on the growing Crisis in the 'Care industry' and the problems of caring for each other particularly in the conditions of capitalist imposed austerity since the financial crash of 2008 and things are not getting any better here in the UK with further financial strains on both the 'for profit' and 'not for profit' sectors of the organised and state supported care industry - some previously 'rescued' companies now again at risk with all the stress and worry that implies for both workers and the families and friends of those 'in care'.
One of the remaining problems for those workers affected seems to be the lack of any co-ordinated 'rank and file' network of care workers that could cut across the extended variety of employers and different trade unions and perhaps start to address other divisions amongst care workers that get in the way of collective responses.
No solutions I'm afraid in this particular article which however does get underneath some of the issues:

There is another article which crosses over discussion on libcom about AI and machine labour in the same magazine here:

As an aside I should say that these are two of the more straightforward and easy to follow articles from this magazine which whilst it also contains other interesting material is heavy on academic language and an expression of Plan C's confused politics in some areas (that I have criticised elsewhere).

Steven.'s picture
Joined: 27-06-06
Nov 17 2015 00:36

Looks interesting, thanks for posting up, I will check those out when I get a chance

Joined: 17-11-15
Nov 17 2015 08:28

im currently doing an adult care course
last week i found out theres 5.8million unpaid carers in uk
thats 200.000 less than the COMBINED trade union memebers in uk [6million]
why has there been no attempt to unionise these workers?

i worry 4 future as the ''course'' is dubious
they've taken a weeks worth of work . spread it over 3 weeks
and called it a qualification
so now im able to work with people caring for them with what amounts to 1 week of basic knowledge
theres many really stupid ppl in my class who cant even understand the course
yet 'teacher' helps them pass it
ive asked a few why they chose care work .to be told

''it was something their dole key worker told them
'oh you'd be good at this '' give it a try ..its only 3 week course ''

ffs .. were giving these jobs to unqualified people who really dont have the skills to care for vurnerable people

best way to kill off the elderly n sick ?
give them to untrained people who ''just want a job'' any job
we've seen on tv ,carers abusing .beating up people their supposed be caring for
this will only get worse ..

Joined: 6-01-07
Dec 5 2015 16:11

Given the recently announced closures of several privately run Care homes in Northern Ireland and the desperate plight of residents and families trying to deal with this situation alongside the hundreds of mostly low paid staff facing redundancies this will remain a hot topic surely and worthy of some solidarity action in the areas affected.

Joined: 18-07-09
Dec 5 2015 18:10

I think Shubey above is definitely right that care work is now seen as something that can solve several 'problems' at once - getting people off the dole and having people looked after in ways that may not prolong their lives.

Large numbers of ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) students who are being pressured off the dole (they are sitting ducks for sanctioning) are hoping that care work will be the answer . There is extreme exploitation going on, for example workers asked to attend to people in their homes for 15 minute slots for £2.50 then travel at their own expense in their own time to the next job which may be across town. Most students I know who have managed to get caring jobs are working for agencies run by people who speak their own language, its hard to see how they would be 'reached' by organising efforts though I hear Unite is trying in places.

Thanks for posting those links spikeymike.

Joined: 26-11-15
Dec 7 2015 06:09

Looks attention-grabbing, thanks for posting up, i will be able to check those out after I get an opportunity.

Joined: 8-01-11
Dec 9 2015 03:24
There is extreme exploitation going on, for example workers asked to attend to people in their homes for 15 minute slots for £2.50 then travel at their own expense in their own time to the next job which may be across town.

I thought the EU legislated against this?

jonthom's picture
Joined: 25-11-10
Feb 18 2016 15:53

Several companies have been set up recently - including one in the US and one in the UK - seeking to apply the Uber business model to care work. Can't help but feel that this is going to become more common, with care companies shutting down or charging higher fees and people being less able to pay on the one hand, and folks struggling to find work or needing some extra cash on the other.

Colour me pessimistic but this will not end well :/

Joined: 6-01-07
Apr 11 2016 14:40

Four Seasons Care Homes UK is currently struggling with an overload of debts at £525 million and reduced profits of £43 million. The earlier 2012 takeover by the Guernsey based Terra Firma Investment company has gone sour and it's owners are now desperately seeking a debt restructuring with ratings agency S&P warning the Care company could run out of cash by the end of June this year. Falling public sector funding and even the recent slightly improved minimum rates of wages are being blamed but profit hungry international investment outfits with no long term interests in any particular sector and certainly no social commitments are another factor.

Joined: 6-01-07
Feb 28 2018 11:22

So just to say this crisis is still rumbling on as indicated in this report:
I have a friend who works for HC-One mentioned in this report who gives me regular updates on the problems he and other staff face working for this company and it's not good. They do their best for the residents in this modern facility but frankly neither of us look forward to ending up in such a place!

R Totale's picture
R Totale
Joined: 15-02-18
Feb 28 2018 11:59

There's been some organising and action among Birmingham care workers over hours recently:
(Am sure they had a facebook page somewhere which might have more info, can't find it right now though.)

R Totale's picture
R Totale
Joined: 15-02-18
Feb 28 2018 13:32

Ah, found the social media presence for the Birmingham care workers' Unison branch:

Also from that page, a bit of news from Dundee: