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From The Socialist newspaper, 18 March 2020

Workers at Lewisham coronavirus hospital walk out after not being paid

Cleaners and other support staff are essential to managing the coronavirus crisis, photo by Mohsen Atayi/CC

Cleaners and other support staff are essential to managing the coronavirus crisis, photo by Mohsen Atayi/CC   (Click to enlarge)

Cleaning, portering and catering staff at Lewisham Hospital, south London - where coronavirus cases have been treated - have walked out after private contractor ISS failed to pay the wages of the hospital workers.

Their union the GMB says: "Infected patients are now being admitted into the hospital, but the cleaners have downed tools because they haven't been paid.

"Furious workers stormed off the job during a row with the outsourcing company. Now ISS risks leaving wards uncleaned and meals not being served if they can't settle the low-paid workers' wages."

The Socialist reported recently (see 'Homerton Hospital workers fight for sick pay') that staff at Homerton Hospital, east London, had compelled ISS to agree to pay workers their usual pay if they are forced to self-isolate to help stop the spread of coronavirus. This victory is part of an ongoing campaign to get permanent occupational sick pay.

This shows ISS can be pushed back and workers can win.

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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.
  • 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.
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In The Socialist 18 March 2020:


Workplace news and analysis

Stop Press: postal workers deliver massive strike vote and offer to become additional 'emergency service'

East London bin workers strike to get back unpaid holiday pay

Determined St Mungo's homelessness workers strike for three days


International socialist news and analysis

French local elections: CWI candidate elected

New pamphlet: constituent assemblies and the revolutionary programme


Socialist history

South Africa: 60 years marking the Sharpeville Massacre


Coronavirus

Coronavirus: workers must not pay the price!

Capitalist crisis and corona: Johnson's budget for the bosses

Coronavirus - a workers charter 2020

Coronavirus: socialist planning, not capitalist chaos!

Coronavirus housing emergency - suspend rent and mortgage payments, seize empty homes

PCS union demands better deal for benefits claimants

Councils must break austerity rules

Action needed to protect shop workers and access to essential goods

Coronavirus hospital worker: amazing response from staff - but worst still to come

'Health not profit' strike wave sweeps Italy

United States: private healthcare exposed as Trump throws money at markets

Workers at Lewisham coronavirus hospital walk out after not being paid

Coronavirus - waste processing employers putting us at risk

Bexley bin workers strike over lack of hand sanitiser

Going viral: socialist letters and comments on the coronavirus crisis

Under the microscope: socialist coronavirus news in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Help us fund the Socialist

Stop gentrification of Lea Bridge

Tory student plot defeated at Cardiff uni

Nottingham uni occupation ends

Socialist Students speaking tour

Selling the Socialist


Readers' opinion

TV: Noughts and Crosses


 

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Related links:

Coronavirus:

triangleCuba: Covid-19 and the 60-year-old embargo

triangleTories' obesity plans - blaming individuals not the profit system

triangleCapitalism's 'vaccine war' shows need for socialist cooperation

triangleFrom first wave to second? Capitalism's Covid failures

triangleNHS pay: 15% for all now

Lewisham:

triangleISS workers' pay victory

triangleSouth east London Socialist Party: Fight the anti-trade union laws!

triangleSouth east London Socialist Party: World in Turmoil

triangleSouth East London Socialist Students & Socialist Party: After the election - perspectives for 2020

Hospital:

triangleSick pay victory at Homerton hospital!

triangleHillingdon Hospital corona outbreak: workforce not to blame

Pay:

triangleCampaign stalls on jobs, pay, NHS and racism

triangleWhat would socialist universities look like?

PCS:

trianglePCS union: Reject longer DWP opening hours

GMB:

triangleCoordinated union struggle needed to save jobs and nationalise JCB

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