Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/807/18476
Why I joined the Socialist Party
Disgusted at politicians' big business links
I work in the Tesco distribution centre in Doncaster. My wife is a former NHS support worker, now privatised to the employment of Care UK.
My wife and her colleagues have been transferred under TUPE regulations which apparently means nothing to Care UK as the company is trying to bully them into taking a vast cut to their pay and worsening of terms and conditions. They say this is to make the service "sustainable" - in other words to add £1.2 million to their already healthy profits (£120 million last year alone).
To me and my family the £550 a month pay cut Care UK wanted my wife to take was the difference between staying afloat and losing our home. In response, the workers voted overwhelmingly to take industrial action.
I decided to do a bit of research about Care UK and quickly discovered that a former CEO and his wife were Tory party donors and that Care UK was being given NHS contracts all over the country doing the very same thing as they are trying to do in Doncaster.
I then discovered that Stuart Rose, the newly appointed NHS advisor, is on the board of Bridgepoint, the private equity company that now owns Care UK and other private healthcare companies.
I have been in touch with Ros Jones, the Labour mayor of Doncaster, and numerous politicians to state the clear conflict of interest. All these contracts should be investigated and torn up, with criminal prosecution where necessary. Sadly this was to no avail.
I then discovered the links between MPs and Lords and healthcare companies. I quickly realised that they - the capitalist politicians and their business pals - are the ones "in it together".
I was on my own with nobody to turn to. But on the picket line I met like-minded people with a conscience who are also disgusted by the political elite and their business interests.
So I joined the Socialist Party and decided to stand up and fight back by putting myself forward as a TUSC candidate in the May local elections. I, for one, having paid tax all my life to help buy every hospital, bed, X-ray and dialysis machine, do not want to see it being given away to Tory donors and MPs who then attack the already trained staff they have been handed on a plate.
Ed Miliband, MP for Doncaster North and leader of the No Opposition, remains silent in his own backyard. Not a single Doncaster Labour councillor or MP has offered any support, let alone been down to the picket line.
So TUSC has organised a protest lobby of Ed Miliband's next surgery on Thursday 24 April asking: "Where are you? Who's side are you on?"
TUSC is standing ten candidates in Doncaster in the May council elections including four directly related to the Care UK strike.
On the same day, TUSC supporters around the country will be protesting at Care UK offices to increase the pressure on Don't Care UK to withdraw the new contracts and maintain NHS terms and conditions.
Protest Lobby of Ed Miliband
3.30pm, Thursday 24 April
Bentley Library, Chapel Street, Bentley, Doncaster, DN5 0DE
In The Socialist 16 April 2014:
Socialist Party election campaigning
Socialist Party news and analysis
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news
Socialist Party reports and campaigns