GMB protest targets Southern Cross landlord
A public protest organised by the GMB Union to highlight the role of the Qatari Investment Authority (QIA) as a landlord to corporate care provider Southern Cross was held outside the QIA-owned Harrods in London on March 3.
Southern Cross has reported a 65% drop in pre-tax earnings for the first three months of its financial year as a consequence of a 14% decline in local authority placements. The Financial Times has reported that the company’s net debt nearly tripled to £21.4m in the same period.
GMB general secretary Paul Kenny said his union wanted the QIA to meet a delegation of residents, their relatives and staff from Southern Cross care homes.
“The QIA raised £1,110 million in bonds to buy 300 care homes from the private equity company Blackstones in 2006,” said Mr Kenny.
“Rents are being overcharged to the tune of £60 per week per care home