Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/453/5423

From The Socialist newspaper, 7 September 2006

Fighting back against attacks on NHS

RCN - UNISON lobby of parliament 2006THIRTY THOUSAND people marched against NHS cuts in Cornwall over August Bank Holiday in the small town of Hayle. It was the biggest demo so far in defence of the NHS.

The National Health Service is clearly still a major political issue.

 More and more cuts are threatened and more and more people are fighting back.

Many protesters can see the advantages of linking together the growing number of locally based protests. The unions should name the day for a national weekday demonstration and industrial action against the attacks on NHS jobs and services.

Privatisation threatens many services as well. This is a licence to print money for the big business firms concerned.

Whipps Cross

But for workers in the health sphere, privatisation can have a disastrous impact on their pay and conditions as portering and cleaning staff at Whipps Cross hospital in east London have found to their cost.

But as UNISON branch secretary LEN HOCKEY reports, workers are striking back!

"LOW-PAID ancillary workers at Whipps Cross hospital were on strike for three more days recently over their privatised employers' (Initial Hospital Services) failure to pay back wages owed to workers who were once directly employed by the NHS. We plan five more days on strike if the bosses don't pay up.

Last week the hospital trust and Initial tried to settle the dispute, under pressure from the continual industrial action. They moved to give back pay on the basic rate of Agenda for Change, but then tried to withhold 800 of what was formerly known as London weighting, the higher cost area supplement!

We had a mass meeting to discuss the offer. Previously, the union had told the employers that we expected them to improve on the offer. We were open to negotiation if they were realistic over how much money they put on the table. But they haven't moved and the effect has been to harden the mood of the workforce.

Since then there have been moves to bring in the arbitration service ACAS, again reflecting the pressure on the employers.

So the campaign continues. We recently lobbied Initial's headquarters, targeting their chief executive who earns the measly sum of 2.2 million a year! We contrasted his lifestyle to that of one of our domestics on 5.52 an hour with little or no sick pay and inferior holidays.

The company and the trust are particularly sensitive to publicity and they were looking for a resolution to the situation before this strike. So now we're putting our foot firmly on the pedal.

The company threatened us with an injunction if we went ahead with a protest. We're obviously hitting all the right buttons so we're going to carry on and hopefully squeeze out of them the money that we're due."

Please send messages of support to: Len Hockey, UNISON office, Whipps Cross Hospital, Whipps Cross Road, London E11 1NR.

Donations: c/o Chris Remington, Head of Health and HE, UNISON, First Floor, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1 3LS. Cheques payable to UNISON, mark for "Whipps Cross Initial Strikers".


Workers speak out

OVER 200 workers and supporters were on the picket lines at Whipps Cross. Practically every worker volunteered for picket duty. Some spoke to the socialist.

THEY DIDN'T offer us enough money. If we hold out a bit longer, I hope we can put pressure on them and they will cough up the money we're owed. The strike days so far have had some effect. They suddenly found some money from somewhere.

Domestic worker

IT'S NOT an offer is it really? They're just offering us some of the money that they already owe us. They're offering us our own money. We're carrying on - we want all the money.

Bob Edwards, Porter

IT'S DISGUSTING what they've offered us and this can't go on. We're not only out here for a wage rise but because of the health cuts as well. Everybody's sick of it in there and it's got to end. We're determined now we've got to carry on.

Terry, Porter

THEY'RE SAYING you can have 600 or 500 of your money but you're not getting the rest. It's a joke. If they don't budge we've got another five days of strike action booked in.

Porter

IF I was a builder and I gave you a bill for 1,400 and you only gave me 600 I'd be taking your windows out. That's basically what the trust and Initial are doing. Offering me half of my own money. I say don't piss on my shoes and tell me it's raining.

Andy, Porter

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 7 September 2006:

Fighting back against attacks on NHS

Campaign defeats GP services sell-off

Campaign for a new workers' party

Come to Socialism 2006


Socialist Party campaigns

Progress on climate change - or just hot air?

Long hours and poverty pay hit students

A searing indictment of capitalism


War and terrorism

End the occupations

Lebanon: Can the UN bring peace?

9/11 - Five years on

Reprint: After the carnage in the USA: World Crisis Deepens


International socialist news and analysis

The politics of aid

New socialist party launched in Scotland

Bangladesh: 20,000 protesters march against British mining company


Socialist Party workplace news

Workers yearn for fighting leadership

2% public-sector pay rise won't cover inflation

The GAMA struggle

Strike victory increases pay-offs


 

Home   |   The Socialist 7 September 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

NHS:

triangleUprising to save the NHS!

triangleNo cuts - hands off King George A&E!

triangleObesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

triangleTories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

Whipps Cross:

triangleUnison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action

triangleDeal concludes Barts health strike - "We have raised our heads high"

triangleThree London strikes coordinate demos

triangleSupport the Bart's strikers

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

PCS

PCS ballots members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

More ...

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

triangle19 Oct Swansea Socialist Party: Spanish revolution 1936-37

triangle19 Oct Cardiff East Socialist Party: Is equality for women possible under capitalism?

triangle19 Oct Wirral Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian Revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2