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Care UK workers mark 81st strike day
Doncaster Care UK strikers celebrated their 81st day of strike action on Friday 10 October with an overnight sleep-out outside the company offices followed by an indoor solidarity rally.
At the rally, Tony Pearson, Unison's Yorkshire head of health, said that "we've run out of superlatives" to describe the strikers who have become an inspiration to other health workers and trade unionists around the country.
Several solidarity protests were organised on the day including by the National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN) outside Care UK's London office.
Unison area officer, Jim Bell, said that the strike had "turned a little local dispute into a national and even international cause celebre."
Unison are seeking the help of US trade unions who have pension funds invested in Bridgepoint, the private equity company who own Care UK.
Strikers were also pleased to hear that Unison has finally decided to make Care UK a prime target for their recruitment and organising team, a strategy Socialist Party members have been urging for six months.
The strikers' determination to continue this fight to defend the NHS and for a decent pay rise (after a 35% pay cut being imposed through privatisation) was reflected in a unanimous vote to take further strike action after the current three week strike ends on Sunday.
Strikers see this dispute as part of the bigger battle against "private sector body snatchers" and "privatisation piranhas" and as such attended NHS strike picket lines on Monday in Doncaster, Barnsley, Sheffield and Wakefield.
A delegation will meet local Doncaster MP Ed Miliband on Friday to demand that he publicly states his support for constituents on strike to defend the very NHS that he says will be the centre piece of Labour's election strategy.
Jim Bell finsished the rally with a warning to Care UK: "Your time is up. Pay Up!"
For anyone wishing to make a donation, Cheques are to be made payable to Doncaster Unison 20511, and post to Unison, Jenkinson House, WhiteRose Way, Doncaster DN4 5GJ.
In The Socialist 15 October 2014:
£££ Britain needs a pay rise
Fight the cuts!
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