Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/855/20700
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 (Click to enlarge)
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.
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.
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.
In The Socialist 13 May 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
The Socialist 13 May 2015 |
Join the Socialist
| PDF | ebook