Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/449/5359
Activists organise for action
A UNISON health activist meeting has been called for Saturday 29 July in Birmingham, to respond to savage job cuts and ward and hospital closures throughout the NHS.
Up to 13,000 health service jobs are threatened nationally. Mounting deficits are used as an excuse to close hospitals and privatise. The health union leaders have done little or nothing in response. How many NHS jobs must go before UNISON general secretary Dave Prentis or the TUC call a demonstration or a strike to defend his members?
The announcement of the privatisation of the NHS commissioning service, amounting to £64 billion of NHS spending, was a step too far. It woke the dead at the TUC, who responded with a meeting of health unions at the TUC.
They're calling a lobby of MPs for the autumn. Any official action from the TUC and the unions is welcomed and we have to get thousands onto the streets on London for the lobby. However, they need to follow up on that by delivering on their promise of a national demo in the spring.
But a lobby of MPs isn't enough to stop the cuts. The NHS' very future is at stake. Private health companies are sharpening their knives to slice off huge parts of the NHS for themselves.
The 29 July meeting aims to mobilise support for the lobby, but also to campaign to get UNISON and other health unions to organise a well-publicised - and properly built for - national demonstration in the autumn. And to support health workers already taking or preparing to take industrial action at local level to stop the job cuts.
Trade unionists and health campaigners will discuss how to develop campaigns involving health workers and the community. If you're a health worker or NHS community campaigner, come to the 29 July meeting and unite with us to defend the NHS.
In The Socialist 20 July 2006:
War and occupation
Socialist Party NHS campaign
Socialist Party campaigns
International socialist news and analysis
Scottish Socialist Party
Campaign for a New Workers Party