Lily Douglas, Waltham Forest Socialist Party
80 plus Whipps Cross hospital workers, Unite members and Socialist Party members came out in protest against the humiliating 3% offered pay rise for all NHS workers on 25 August. The Tory government left the NHS completely unprepared to handle the Covid pandemic through austerity cuts, bed shortages, and their campaign to privatise the health service.
Instead of providing proper PPE, they chose to clap once a week for the hospital’s brave sacrifices. By putting profit before people, the government has time and time again abandoned the NHS. And the Labour party under Keir Starmer is not doing any better, standing by the Tory regime.
The protest outside the hospital was lively and energetic, with music playing and chants of “you say cut back, we say fight back!” Many took our leaflets and discussed the importance and need to fight for a 15% pay rise instead of the laughable 3%. We also put forward the need to campaign for a nationalised NHS and care system for all. The seven speakers set the tone for all the NHS protests around the country, highlighting the mood that none of us are going to back down from this fight.