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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 September 2009

Workers' action can stop NHS cuts

NHS demonstration, photo Paul Mattsson

NHS demonstration, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

THE TORIES' scare tactic, exposing New Labour's threatened 137,000 NHS job cuts to save 20 billion, is sheer hypocrisy. Whichever political party wins the next general election the scenario facing healthworkers will be the same. All the three main establishment parties are offering up a diet of cutbacks, closures, further privatisation, redundancies and pay cuts.

Mick Griffiths, Unison Wakefield and Pontefract branch secretary (personal capacity)

The NHS trade unions have a duty to seriously organise an effective campaign of co-ordinated industrial action in defence of jobs, pay and conditions.

Even before the predicted massive NHS funding cuts some NHS Trusts are already facing financial difficulties are attempting to make the workers pay for these crises. (By coincidence, the proposed 20 billion 'savings' is the same as the cost of the various privatisation schemes in the NHS).

Recently, in Wakefield and Pontefract Hospitals as a result of the new PFI (Private Finance Initiative) hospitals development, management attempted to inflict new jobs on the workforce at lower grades ie less pay.

This was met with determined resistance by the local Unison and Unite branch memberships. A massive 95% of union members voted to support strike action in a consultative ballot.

Despite management's claims that the job changes were contractually set in stone, the ballot result forced them to withdraw all the proposed downgradings.

Unison membership increased significantly during the ballot and the idea of taking collective action has been significantly heightened amongst healthworkers.

Our dispute shows that with a determined union leadership and a determined rank and file, management attempts to attack healthworkers' conditions can be defeated.

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In The Socialist 9 September 2009:

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Youth Fight for Jobs action

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War and occupation

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Trades Union Congress

TUC conference: Workers willing to fight - in spite of leadership

Socialist Party TUC meeting

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Time to fight back!


Socialist Party workplace news and analysis

Workers' action can stop NHS cuts

PCS members prepare to fight cuts and privatisation

Unite election: United Left hustings

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Construction workers protest

Inaugural meeting to establish a North Wales branch of the National Shop Stewards Network

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Postal workers strike

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Protesting against scabbing managers


RMT action

RMT action: Bus workers strike for pay rise

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Comment: Vestas protest

RMT wins no compulsory redundancy position but future battles loom


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Education

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Socialist Party review

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