Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/447/5318

From The Socialist newspaper, 6 July 2006

Fighting back against cuts and closures

Whipps Cross Hospital workers demonstrate"NHS - ARE you bovvered?" asked a little girl's T-shirt. "Yes we are", said over 200 health workers and residents of Waltham Forest, on a lively demo against NHS cuts and privatisation at Whipps Cross Hospital, including 400 job losses and the threatened closure of four wards and two operating theatres.

Ken Douglas

Norma, a health visitor, spoke of how they fought off proposals to cut 45% of health visitors and 25% of district nurses. Lobbies of the council and MPs made the Primary Care Trust (PCT) back off.

But, she warned, they will be back and they will look somewhere else for the cuts.

Len Hockey, joint secretary of the hospital UNISON branch read out messages of support from campaigns in Manchester and Maidstone. "It is to the trade union movement's eternal shame that we're having to have all these little demos, but they won't call a national demo over the whole issue of the privatisation of public services."

Len spoke of how for the last nine years, portering and cleaning services at Whipps Cross had been market tested, privatised and re-privatised. He would often wake up in the morning and wonder who he was working for.

Tarmac, Tarmac ServiceMaster, a Danish multi-national and now Initial-Rentokil were treating the workers like vermin, forcing them to ballot for strike action in order to honour an agreement made three years before.

Nancy Taaffe, chair of Waltham Forest's local government UNISON branch, warned that the privatisers want to take us back to the times when doctors presented a bill after seeing a patient.

Vicky Perrin, bringing greetings from the Huddersfield Save our NHS campaign, said the fightback has begun and quoted Nye Bevan, a socialist MP and one of the founders of the NHS: "How long will the Welfare State last? It will last as long as people fight for it."

Linda Taaffe, Waltham Forest NUT executive member, described how one of Blair's advisers on the health service is now president of a company which is ready to take on contracted services for the NHS.

But they don't turn to the boardrooms and shareholders to pay for the 39 million deficit.

Calling on the unions and the TUC to organise a national demo, Linda said that if they don't do it then we have to find a way to do it ourselves.

She recalled Walthamstow's first demo against the poll tax in 1989, which had been a similar size: "People said, 'Oh you'll never defeat Thatcher and the poll tax'. We started out like this, then we got together in our millions and defeated the poll tax".


Venezuelan solidarity

THE WHIPPS Cross rally heard a solidarity message from health workers in the Venezuelan capital Caracas. It said: "In our country, healthworkers are also struggling against reformism and bureaucracy, against corruption and counter-reform that threaten the livelihoods of working-class people.

These counter-reforms are an attempt to take away rights won in previous struggles...

In Venezuela a group of workers have heard of your situation... workers here... have to know that in Europe, where we are told by the media that workers live happily, there are also attacks taking place and workers struggling for their jobs. We hope you receive this message and it will help you struggle until victory...

From the Bolivarian front of health workers in the Hospital El Aglodonal, trade union delegation of Sirtrasalud Algodonal and UNT.

And the local branch of the Committee for a Workers' International in Venezuela (sister party of the Socialist Party England and Wales)."


Defending the NHS

"The demo is impressive and very well organised. We thank the Socialist Party for your encouragement and involvement in this demo."

Kingsley, UNISON steward Whipps Cross

"The demonstration is a great success, I think we got our point over to the local community. Many people will have seen that what's happening locally will affect their future, their children and their children's children."

Eddie Cook, secretary Amicus branch, Whipps Cross

"I joined the demo as a Whipps Cross nurse. I believe that our priority is the patients. The NHS matters - every one of us is a potential customer of the NHS."

Adele

"I'm a porter at Whipps Cross - we get no sick pay or London weighting - we have to protest about these things."

Ray

"In a few weeks we will be going for industrial action to get Initial Rentokil, who run the contract for cleaning and portering at Whipps Cross, to honour the agreement we made three years ago.

We will need the support of Waltham Forest to help us win, together with the health service unions."

Regina, UNISON steward, Whipps Cross Hospital

Penny-pinching

DURING THE rally an air conditioning engineer told us he cleaned Whipps Cross hospital's air-conditioning filters. But the trust didn't pay for an adequate service contract so the filters weren't cleaned often enough. "The operating theatre filters are filthy, it's disgusting", he told us.

This ridiculous penny-pinching scheme puts the most vulnerable patients, those undergoing surgery, at risk of such illnesses as Legionnaires disease.


LEICESTER UNISON demonstration against NHS cuts and privatisation. Saturday 8 July, 10am, assembling in Humberstone Gate, Leicester.


MERSEYSIDE Socialist Party public meeting: Fighting cuts to the NHS in Merseyside and Cheshire. Guest speaker Simon Swanick, local trade unionist and Runcorn anti-cuts campaigner. Thursday 20 July, 7.30pm, Casa club, 29 Hope Street, Liverpool city centre.


In brief...

FEWER THAN one in five student nurses graduating this summer, after three years of study, has a job to go to once they qualify.

Evidence from 20 universities showed more than 80% of nursing students are finishing their training without any post lined up. That's up from 30% last year.

Midwives, community nurses and physiotherapists faced similar situations.


Nurses and other workers are paying the price with their jobs for the NHS's financial problems.

NHS WORKERS in Surrey have voted overwhelmingly not to go along with their Primary Care Trust (PCT) plans to transfer thousands of them into a new not-for-profit partnership, Central Surrey Health, at the end of July.

84% of district nurses, health visitors, therapists and others scheduled to be transferred, voted against the idea.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 6 July 2006:


Socialist Party NHS campaign

NHS: Not for sale!

Fighting back against cuts and closures

Stop NHS Logistics sell-off

The NHS: What the Socialist Party says


Campaign for a New Workers Party

Public services not private profit

Build the Campaign for a New Workers' Party


Socialist Party youth and students

Young people need a living wage!


Socialist Party campaigns

How the rich became super-rich

Blairites trounced in Labour heartlands

Come to Summer Camp!


International socialist news and analysis

Israeli troops inflict 'collective punishment' on Palestinians

In Brief

'War on terror' undermining our democratic rights

Chile: Who killed Victor Jara?


Socialist Party review

The Wind that Shakes the Barley

The Irish Civil War 1922-1923


Socialist Party workplace news

Royal Mail - turn anger into action

Bus campaign prepares support for striking drivers


 

Home   |   The Socialist 6 July 2006   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

NHS:

triangleFrimley hospital staff fight back-door privatisation

triangleBarry Hospital workers fight to save ward from closure

triangleStrike action wins privatisation reprieve at Bradford hospitals

triangleTV: Young, British and Depressed - "What is wrong with our society that all these people are feeling this way?"

triangleBradford: All-out action to defeat backdoor NHS privatisation

Closures:

triangleFight the closures save every job!

triangleHealth bosses move goalposts on A&E waiting times: more funds for our NHS now!

triangleFighting NHS and fire services cuts and closures in Merseyside

triangleMerseyside fire authority forced to postpone night closures

Health:

triangleBangladeshi campaigners fight mining giant for justice

triangleLincolnshire health visitors' solidarity rally

triangleHealth workers strike against 2,000 loss of pay

Whipps Cross:

triangleUnison attacks Barts deal after failing to ballot their members for strike action

triangleDeal concludes Barts health strike - "We have raised our heads high"

Hospital:

triangleWales: chronic NHS underfunding exposed

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

17/9/19

Trade union

South Yorkshire FBU celebrates halt to cuts

17/9/19

London

Earth strike day in London

11/9/19

NSSN

Lobby of TUC: Upbeat meeting calls for trade union lead to boot out Tories

11/9/19

PCS

Fighting PCS general secretary needed - Marion Lloyd: Why I am standing

11/9/19

Climate change

Climate strikes: trade union round-up

11/9/19

Coventry

Coventry: 100 pack meeting against congestion charge

11/9/19

The Socialist

Socialist newspaper sales round-up

11/9/19

Salisbury

Salisbury welcomes Socialist campaigners

11/9/19

Leicester

Leicester Kashmir protest rejects religious smokescreen

11/9/19

Bracknell

Frimley hospital staff fight back-door privatisation

11/9/19

Leeds

Leeds pensioners occupy BBC to save free TV licenses

11/9/19

Fire

Another London block of flats destroyed by fire - remove unsafe cladding now!

11/9/19

Climate change

Students and workers unite against fees, low pay climate change

11/9/19

Workers

Workplace news in brief

11/9/19

UCU

UCU ballots - yes to strike action on pensions, pay, workloads and equality

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: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0784 114 4890

North West 07954 376 096

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


September 2019

August 2019

July 2019

June 2019

May 2019

April 2019

March 2019

February 2019

January 2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999