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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

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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In The Socialist 10 April 2019:


What we think

Corbyn must demand general election, defend workers' interests and fight for a socialist Brexit


Climate change

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 elections

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


Opinion

Low pay, long hours, isolation - a taxi driver speaks out

'Traitors': Cold War cloak and daggers as capitalist powers spy on allies


 

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