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From The Socialist newspaper, 13 May 2015

Dundee porters enter sixth week of action

Striking porters on the Dundee May Day march, photo by Philip Stott

Striking porters on the Dundee May Day march, photo by Philip Stott   (Click to enlarge)

Philip Stott

The Dundee hospital porters are into their sixth week of all-out strike action as we go to press and they are as strong and determined as ever.

Initial discussions are now due to start as part of the NHS Scottish Terms and Conditions Committee (STAC) review of the porters' grading. The STAC process was offered by NHS Tayside management to "provide the platform upon which the dispute can be resolved".

It has dawned on managers that the 117 Unite members will not go back to work until they have their grading changed with compensation for historic underpayment.

A porter on band one, working 37.5 hours a week at Ninewells and Royal Victoria hospitals, currently takes home around 250 a week. Moving to band two, in line with the majority of porters across Tayside and Scotland, would mean a 50 weekly increase.

Bosses' propaganda

The propaganda offensive against the strikers by NHS Tayside bosses has continued. Unite, said NHS Tayside Chief Executive Lesley McLay, was acting "contrary to what we would consider to be the normal actions of a reasonable trade union".

The message from striking porters like Mark Gilligan, Mark McDonald and Graham Nelson is "welcome to the new normal". They are, along with scores of other porters, the backbone of the daily protests outside the hospital.

"The solidarity is still pouring in," they told the Socialist. Unite senior steward Graham Nelson added: "We've now had over 20,000 in donations from the public and cheques from other trade unions across Scotland and the UK."

Graham addressed the recent May Day march in Dundee, the biggest for years, as hundreds of trade unionists, led by the porters, marched through the city to huge public support. One person stopped her car at the protest line and donated 100.

The backing given to the strike by Trade Unionist and Socialist Coaltition (TUSC) supporters and Socialist Party Scotland members - combined with the complete lack of support from the SNP and the Scottish government - resulted in many of the porters voting for Jim McFarlane, Dundee West TUSC candidate, in the election.

A coachload of porters will be in Glasgow this week to show support to the striking homelessness caseworkers. They will also be protesting at the Scottish parliament next week.

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In The Socialist 13 May 2015:


Elections 2015

Organising resistance to Tory cuts starts now!

Fight against "five more damned years"

Tenacious TUSC celebrates hard-won progress

Labour annihilated as SNP sweeps in

Don't mourn - organise and join the socialists!


Socialist Party news and analysis

New Tory cuts: Hammering the poor

Housing crisis deepens

Bradford Fire: victims demand independent inquiry

Them & Us


International socialist news and analysis

Rage in Baltimore: aftermath of Freddie Gray's death

Disaster in Nepal - amplified by capitalism

Iran: free all political prisoners


Socialist Party workplace news

Dundee porters enter sixth week of action

Barking bin workers' eight-day strike

Bromley Unite plans more sell-off walkouts

Check-off attack will not defeat PCS

FBU conference looks to continue fightback

Kone blocks negotiations

TNT/Whistl stops deliveries

RMT members vote for Network Rail strike

CWU telecoms oppose Openreach changes


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

EDL protected by huge police presence

Brixton marches against gentrification

Student occupation of Birmingham library

TUSC prominent on anti-academies demo

Left gains at NUS conference

Anti-PFI battle bus


 

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