Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1037/28958
From The Socialist newspaper, 10 April 2019
Southampton Hospital security workers strike against unsafe work
Southampton Hospital security staff strike against unsafe work on 8 April, photo Nick Chaffey (Click to enlarge)
Nick Chaffey, Southern Socialist Party secretary
Southampton General Hospital security staff, employed by outsourcer Mitie and organised by general union Unite, struck on 8 April in a dispute over safety.
The workers lack sufficient 'personal protective equipment' (PPE). For months they have sustained serious injuries, and found no support from either the hospital trust or Mitie.
Exposing the reality of privatisation, trust bosses say it is not their responsibility, and Mitie bosses say the contract bid doesn't cover the costs of PPE. So it's the workers who pay for NHS cuts and private profits.
On top of this, Mitie workers get lower wages and worse sick cover. With 11,000 workers at Southampton General Hospital, security staff are asking: why can't the 20 of them be employed directly by the trust, on NHS pay and conditions?
Mitie makes handsome profits that could ensure its workers are safe and properly equipped, but won't. Fat-cat bosses have got rich on the back of public sector sell-offs under both Tory and Blairite governments.
The outsourcing of public services to private monopolies is facing a crisis after the collapse of Carillion and similar problems at Interserve.
No wonder these workers are demanding the renationalisation of their jobs. And no wonder Jeremy Corbyn's call to fully fund the NHS, stop outsourcing and expand public ownership gets so much support.
With millions experiencing the effects of privatisation, this strike shows the way forward in how to restore decent pay and working conditions.
This is not the first picket line at Southampton General Hospital. In recent years, cleaners, junior doctors, midwives and radiographers have all struck.
A united campaign of health workers, backed by patients and the wider trade union movement, can be a decisive part of the movement needed for an immediate general election, an end to austerity, and a Corbyn-led government to start restoring the NHS and trade union rights.
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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.
- 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.
- 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.
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In The Socialist 10 April 2019:
What we think
Corbyn must demand general election, defend workers' interests and fight for a socialist Brexit
Organise against climate change, austerity and capitalism
Only socialism can stop capitalism's plastic problem
International socialist news and analysis
Algeria: Bouteflika is finished but the Algerian revolution is not!
China: police state in Xinjiang under global spotlight
Local government in crisis: councillors can fight cuts!
Socialist Party news and analysis
Boot out the Tories - end austerity
Stop Tory NHS destruction
Gender pay gap widening
Them & us
Workplace news and analysis
PCS: vote Yes for action, back socialists in the elections!
NEU conference: organise for the key battles to come
Swindon workers discuss action to save Honda jobs
Southampton Hospital security workers strike
Support the Glasgow Airport pay and pensions strike
London Overground cleaners strike for better pay
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Leicester Socialist Party letter for no-cuts budget
Walthamstow: end the school funding crisis
Reject the rotten NUS 'reforms'
Leicester NHS Trust and the brutal reality of cuts
Social cleansing continues in Southwark
Newcastle anti-fascist demo
South Yorkshire Freedom Riders - still battling on
Gateshead FC crisis: save our Heed!
Health Campaigns Together AGM success
Low pay, long hours, isolation - a taxi driver speaks out
'Traitors': Cold War cloak and daggers as capitalist powers spy on allies
The Socialist 10 April 2019 |
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