Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/959/26008

From The Socialist newspaper, 23 August 2017

Defiant Barts NHS workers fight to stop Serco sabotage

Barts NHS ancillary workers joined BA cabin crew and Bank of England workers in joint demonstrations, 3.8.17, photo Sarah Wrack

Barts NHS ancillary workers joined BA cabin crew and Bank of England workers in joint demonstrations, 3.8.17, photo Sarah Wrack   (Click to enlarge)

Rob Williams, Socialist Party industrial organiser

The latest Barts hospital workers' strike on 18 August was a defiant message to employer Serco that its underhand and dishonest tactics wouldn't succeed in defeating the low-paid workers who were on their 24th day of action.

At the talks with general union Unite on 11 August, Serco said it would be tabling an improved offer for workers and their union to consider. But absolutely nothing has been forthcoming.

This was a blatant attempt to confuse and demoralise workers on top of their illegal strike-breaking use of agency workers. But these parasitic privateers can be defeated.

It's now clear that Serco wants to break the strike at all costs. Disgracefully, Barts NHS Trust is standing aside from low-paid workers who keep the hospitals clinically clean and feed and transport patients.

The union had no alternative but to go ahead with the planned strike action to send a clear message to Serco and Barts that they will not get away with their cynical ploy. Late on 17 August, Serco wrote asking Unite to call off the further five days of action with the promise of talks. Correctly, this was refused with nothing concrete on the table.

However, at picket line meetings addressed by Unite branch secretary and Socialist Party member Len Hockey and Unite London and Eastern regional secretary Pete Kavanagh, members voted to suspend this latest action to allow for negotiations.

But notice of further strikes to start on 4 September has been issued in case Serco once again goes back on its commitments. As we go to print, Unite is still waiting for a date for these talks.

Shaken

The company has been shaken by the tremendous action already taken. We've seen loud and well attended picket lines that have been supported by patients and fellow trade unionists.

Financial donations have come in from across the country, many from workers who are fighting against the pay cap when prices continue to rise and squeeze incomes. This solidarity needs to be stepped up. But also the action within the hospitals needs to continue to be strengthened.

At the picket line meetings, strikers were enthused by an update on the numbers on strike and the impact they are having. They were also bolstered by reports of workers winning famous victories against employers just as determined as Serco.

The successful Birmingham bin workers, also organised by Unite, and the victorious Glasgow janitors in public service union Unison, show it is possible for workers to fight and win.

We've already seen the fantastic 15 July demonstration that saw up to 1,000 workers and supporters march to Mile End Hospital from the Royal London Hospital. On 3 August, hundreds of strikers from three Unite disputes - Barts, British Airways (see left) and the Bank of England - came together on a day of protest.

Perhaps its now time to demonstrate outside Serco's HQ at 80 Victoria Street in Westminster? Such a protest could get huge support from the wider union movement.

The whole labour and trade union movement needs to put pressure on Barts Trust to intervene, starting with the other unions in the trust. We need to continue to call on local Labour councillors to exercise their statutory right to intervene on health scrutiny committees with the trust management.

Similarly, national and local Labour MPs must take the trust to task on how these workers can be treated like this.

The behaviour of Serco shows once and for all that these private contractors should be kicked out of the NHS - and all other public services - and the workers brought back in-house and directly employed by the NHS.

Serco wants to give workers the impression that they can't win - but strong, united action can defeat the bosses.

Donate to the Socialist Party

Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

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.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
  • Our 'fighting coronavirus workers' charter', outlines a programme to combat the virus and protect workers' living conditions.
  • When the health crisis subsides, we must be ready for the stormy events ahead and the need to arm workers' movements with a socialist programme - one which puts the health and needs of humanity before the profits of a few.
Inevitably, during the crisis we have not been able to sell the Socialist and raise funds in the ways we normally would.
We therefore urgently appeal to all our viewers to donate to our special coronavirus appeal.

Please donate here.

All payments are made through a secure server.

My donation

 

Your message: 

 


In The Socialist 23 August 2017:


What we think

Coordinate the strikes to defeat the Tories


Socialist Party news and analysis

Glasgow jannies win famous victory against council cutters

Bin workers - fighting back wins!

Hundreds evacuated after Labour council dismisses cracks in tower blocks

Amazon tax halves as revenues soar - nationalise now!


Workplace news and analysis

RMT and the Labour Party affiliation debate

Defiant Barts NHS workers fight to stop Serco sabotage

Three-week Argos distribution strike

BA poverty pay dispute enters new phase of action

McDonald's workers vote to walk out in historic strike

Bin workers say: Sack Suez, stop rubbish cuts!

PCS: strikes to defend jobcentres


Fighting the far right

US: neo-Nazi violence reawakens resistance

Lewisham 1977: When socialists and workers defeated the far-right National Front

Opposing the National Front in Grantham

Charlottesville solidarity


Socialist Party feature

The Single Market: a neoliberal tool of the bosses


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Come to Socialism 2017

Chatsworth ward campaigners demand answers

Vital women's services under threat

Hull youth festival

West Midlands Young Socialists fight for free education on results day

NHS campaign receives Labour Party backing


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Mutinies and strikes: when Bolshevism threatened British bosses

The Socialist inbox


 

Home   |   The Socialist 23 August 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Barts:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: Save our NHS - the lessons of the Barts strike

triangleNHS we're ready to fight

triangleSustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS

triangleSerco - not fit for purpose

triangleNorth London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

Workers:

triangleBangladesh: Stop closure and privatisation of Jute Mills

triangleWest London Socialist Party: Why young workers need trade unions

triangleSelling the Socialist

NHS:

triangleA socialist NHS fit for heroes

triangleThe Socialist inbox

triangleContact tracing fiasco: You can't believe a word the government tells us

Unite:

triangleUnite: elect fighting socialist reps

triangleFight continues for safety on London buses

Union:

triangleEquity union president elections: fight for resources for all

Strike:

triangleTower Hamlets council strike

Hospital:

triangleVictory for Royal Glamorgan A&E!

Hospitals:

triangleDispatches from the front: bosses prepare fresh attacks on NHS

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

7/7/20

Bangladesh

Bangladesh: Stop closure and privatisation of Jute Mills

1/7/20

Fighting Fund

Fighting Fund: Target smashed by half time

1/7/20

PCS

Change in leadership needed to secure union's future

1/7/20

Black Lives Matter

BLM has not stopped - protesters flock to Socialists

1/7/20

Ken Douglas

Red flags line road for Ken

1/7/20

Leeds

Leeds City Council in danger of bankruptcy

1/7/20

Socialist

socialism2020

1/7/20

Equity

Trade unionists stand in solidarity with Maxine Peake

1/7/20

Equity

Equity union president elections: fight for resources for all

1/7/20

The Socialist

Selling the Socialist

1/7/20

Cardiff

Cardiff community fights nursery closure: Council must step in

1/7/20

NSSN

Come to the NSSN conference

1/7/20

Sunday trading

Sunday trading: Government blinks first

1/7/20

Tower Hamlets

Tower Hamlets council strike

1/7/20

Ministry of Justice

MoJ cleaners' covid outbreak

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 079 8202 1969

East Mids: 077 3797 8057

London: 07748 534 891

North East: 078 4114 4890

North West 079 5437 6096

South West: 077 5979 6478

Southern: 078 3368 1910

Wales: 079 3539 1947

West Mids: 024 7655 5620

Yorkshire: 077 0671 0041

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


July 2020

June 2020

May 2020

April 2020

March 2020

February 2020

January 2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999