The General Secretary of the United Kingdom’s second largest trade union, Unison, has paid tribute to those campaigning to keep the Rectory Field and William Street care homes open.
Dave Prentis, who was on a visit to Belfast on Wednesday, August 26, said: “The fight for fundamental human rights is at the core of everything we stand for.
“We will shame any government that attempts to trample over the rights of the most frail and vulnerable in our society.”
The health union recently claimed the ongoing consultation on the proposed closure of the Rectory Field and William Street care homes is being viewed as a mere box-ticking excercise by the Western Trust and that the health authority has already earmarked the cityside facility for alternative use.
Speaking today Mr Prentis said: “Because we stand up for what is right and against what is wrong we are now under sustained attack by the current UK Government which appears to have little or no understanding of human rights.
“I am in no doubt that the vicious and spiteful attack on trade union rights in GB is a reaction to workers who stand up for rights – not just worker and trade union rights but most importantly the human rights of those we serve. We will resist the attack.
“I am proud to take time out from that campaign to be in Belfast today to pledge the full support of UNISON as a whole to our members, the residents and their relatives.
“I sincerely hope that Government in Northern Ireland will demonstrate a morale courage that is sadly lacking in the Tories.
“I am confident that fairness and decency will win in the end.”
Initial ‘TYC’ plans proposed the closure of all NHS residential care in NI. This was later reduced to 50 per cent.