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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 October 2017

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

NHS workers on strike elsewhere - at Barts Trust in east London, 15.7.17, photo Paul Mattsson

NHS workers on strike elsewhere - at Barts Trust in east London, 15.7.17, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Paul Kershaw, North London Socialist Party

Porters and domestics - members of the GMB union - at the North Middlesex hospital, facing the threat of redundancies and pay cuts, organised a spirited protest with a barbecue outside the hospital on 12 October.

Following the takeover of their service by profit-hungry contractor Medirest (healthcare division of the Compass group) in June, the firm's 'efficiency measures' include reducing the number of porters from 71 to 61 and cutting wages by 1,000 a year.

Workers look to the recent example of the ground-breaking strikes of porters, domestics and other low paid workers at the Barts hospital trust, and they have been joining the union.

They point out that patients will be left with fewer porters to assist them: "We know that patients can wait a long time for a porter when we are busy, but how can reducing our numbers say that this will not happen in the future? I have three young children and cannot afford to lose 1,000 a year from my wages," said a union member.

Who can? But, the corporate giant now seeks to make more profit by reducing pay and workers' much-needed breaks.

Protesters gave an indication of the massive support that hospital workers would get for industrial action in defence of jobs, conditions and services.

Local councils should call in the management of the crisis-ridden health trust to question their failure to ensure that Medirest behaves responsibly. Moreover, all outsourced services should be brought back in-house with workers receiving decent pay and full workplace benefits.

The North Middlesex chief executive, Libby McManus, was forced to resign in September following reported concerns over poor performance.

Local councils and the labour movement must demand that the trust gets a grip and staffs services properly through the winter.

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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.

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In The Socialist 18 October 2017:


What we think

Tories torn - bin them now


Socialist Party news and analysis

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

Young people being strangled by debts

Tories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

Obesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

What we saw


Socialist Party workplace news

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

PCS ballots members on the pay cap

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

Unite local government sector plans strike ballot

Salford Unison condemns pay cuts


October revolution 1917

Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

October 1917 reviews: 'More bright than any heaven'

October 1917 centenary pull-out and poster


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

Uprising to save the NHS!

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea


International socialist news and analysis

Campaign against political repression in Hong Kong


Socialist Party comments and reviews

Powerful picture of the Port Talbot steel workers' struggle

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future


 

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Related links:

North London:

triangleWest London Socialist Party: The role that marxists have played during the pandemic

triangleNorth London TUSC: Planning for the May 2021 elections

triangleAll North London Socialist Party meeting: Corbyn suspended - time for a new party for workers and young people

triangleNorth London: Socialist Party speaks at BLM protest

triangleHomerton Hospital - withdraw private contract

Workers:

triangleJustice for Mohamud Hassan!

triangleBooks that inspired me: The Road to Wigan Pier

triangleTrump Twitter ban: only independent workers' voice can defeat right

triangleVaccine confidence - a worker's response

London:

triangleNew Cross Gate fire 40 years ago

trianglePolice use Covid laws to intimidate BLM protesters

triangleMay elections: Tories and Labour's Khan both vying to slash public services

Hospital:

triangleObituary - Jeff Edwards

triangleOn the NHS front line

Cuts:

triangleSocialist Party national women's meeting

Pay:

triangleMorrisons - 10/hr headline hides divisive pay offer

Union:

triangleRolls-Royce Barnoldswick factory future secured following strike action

Wages:

triangleBosses profit out of 'starvation' food parcels

Profit:

triangleCovid: Bosses chase profit and put workers in danger

Medirest:

triangleEaling hospital workers fight miserly Medirest

Redundancies:

triangleUniversity teaching moves online in England

Healthcare:

triangleProtect the NHS - Funding, Pay, PPE, Public ownership

Health:

triangleNHS Emergency - Fight for a fully funded, publicly owned, socialist NHS

GMB:

triangleBritish Gas strike continues

Barts:

triangleNorth London Socialist Party: Save our NHS - the lessons of the Barts strike

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