Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/655/11031
From The Socialist newspaper, 26 January 2011
Second show of strength by Medirest workers
For the second time, hundreds of Medirest cleaners at Southampton general hospital came out on strike on 19-21 January to fight for unpaid wages and sick pay. Some workers are owed £3,500.
The strike has created a very strong and determined mood to stand firm. Of 272 workers, 254 are now in the trade union Unison. Workers from seven different nationalities work in the team.
Unison steward Jo Spear said: "It is bringing everyone together. We've put our cards on the table and the Trust are having to take note. We are still angry at what's happening. Not just the money, it's about respect and how we are treated. Recently we were told they had run out of money to vaccinate staff against swine flu and if we wanted it we had to pay for it ourselves!"
On 20 January, 200 Medirest strikers joined hundreds of council workers in a mass demonstration and rally. Over 800 council workers from Unison and Unite held a joint meeting which unanimously rejected council proposals to cut jobs, pay, and terms and conditions. It was the biggest meeting for years and the biggest trade union demonstration in Southampton for decades.
The mood of anger was summed up in the roar of approval for a teaching assistant who raised the need for the unions to follow Greece and France and organise a one-day general strike.
The turnout for the TUC demo on 26 March will be huge. The urgent task will be to ensure this anger is translated into effective strike action capable of halting these cuts.
The fight to stop the closure of the NHS Bitterne Walk-In continues to gain support. Students are continuing to fight the education cuts. In a sign of growing unemployment locally, 5,000 people turned up to a jobs fair at Southampton Airport offering 100 jobs.
Southampton Shop Stewards Network is holding a Fight the Cuts demonstration on Saturday 5 February with support from Southampton trades council, the PCS and other union activists.
Nick Chaffey, Southern region Socialist Party
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
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In The Socialist 26 January 2011:
Socialist Party youth and students
Fight for jobs and education
Where next for the student movement?
Education Maintenance Allowance days of action 18 and 19 January
No to sky-high youth unemployment!
Socialist Party news and analysis
Warning: Government health 'reforms' can seriously damage your health
Phone hacking and media spin - the murky world of Andy Coulson
Food price hikes fuelling unrest
Fight the Con-Dem 'bosses' charter'
RMT leader slams anti-union laws
Marching against council cuts
Socialist Party workplace news
Hampshire: Battling to defend jobs
Second show of strength by Medirest workers
BA workers vote to fight on
DWP contact centre strike
National Shop Stewards Network
NSSN anti-cuts campaign launched
Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) conference
International socialist news and analysis
Irish government collapses: United Left Alliance offers real alternative
Tunisia: Protesters demand real democracy and social change
50 years ago: Congo's independence leader assassinated
Socialist Party schools features
Tidemill school - victory for parents
Save Our Schools
Bankers' "Free school" excludes poorer pupils
Socialist Party review
Britain's Banks: Too Big to Save?
Three decades of 'reform' and 'flexibility'
Stop the mental health service cuts
The Socialist 26 January 2011 |
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