Junior doctors to escalate strike action

Scott Jones

Junior doctors’ trade union, the BMA, has vowed to escalate their strike over the imposition of the new, unsafe, unfair contract by Jeremy Hunt and the Tories.

The chairman of the BMA’s junior doctors’ committee, Dr Joseph Malawana has written to junior doctors to confirm the committee had “voted to move towards an escalation of its planned action”.

The details have yet to be announced but could include a full walkout by junior doctors including those working in emergency services or extending the upcoming strikes on 6-8 April beyond the 48-hours currently planned.

Doctors have so far struck on three occasions to defend the NHS. They plan at least two more stoppages. The Tories have made a new enemy, with punishing schedules and cuts to pay normally reserved for other workers.

Any escalation should include Britain’s largest trade unions, Unite and Unison, which both represent big sections of health workers. Other unions should ballot for action now.

They can then coordinate strikes with the junior doctors. This will prevent the doctors from becoming isolated, and allow other sections of the workforce to exploit an opportunity to push the Tories back.

We urgently need an emergency national demonstration to support the BMA and the junior doctors. The Socialist calls on the TUC to approach the People’s Assembly about turning its 16 April march into a TUC and union-led demonstration to defend the NHS.