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Blood centre workers fight job cuts plan
ON 15 June, protests took place outside blood centres, by trade unionists opposed to the proposed reorganisation. Over 20 angry staff mounted a lively protest at Manchester's Blood Centre. Gill Moran, UNISON branch secretary told Hugh Caffrey how the 'strategic plan' cuts will endanger people's lives:
"We're opposing the strategic plan which we've not even been consulted on.
"We estimate that in the next couple of years, there will be 700 job losses throughout the country, many of them compulsory redundancies.
"We feel this will put patients' lives at risk, it will compromise the product that saves lives. If the service goes to three super-centres, how will they transfer blood round the country with the road system we've got now?
"People will rely on blood to come from a centre miles away, and with the state of the roads it will put their lives at risk. We want management to look again at the strategic plan. If they don't then the unions will ballot for industrial action."
Although Manchester is one of the proposed 'super-centres', staff will be on a crazy shift system and many will lose their jobs. Yorkshire centres will be shut.
"Why should staff here," asked Andy Ford, Amicus rep and Socialist Party member, "accept redundancies and worse hours just so the Blood Service can sack people in other blood centres?
"At the same time there are more managers, and management consultants get £1,200 a day to advise top managers!
"Directors are on £85-100k and there are more of them than ever before. What we need is to pull everything together nationally, and build a massive turnout for the anti-NHS cuts demonstration on 13 October."