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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 February 2022
Barts NHS strike
First round of solid action ends - all out again on 28 February
Unite members are set to take more strike action over pay and conditions. Photo: Paul Mattsson (Click to enlarge)
London Socialist Party
Following two weeks of solid strike action by 600 workers with big, bold and angry picket lines, the Barts hospital strike in east London has ended - for now.
The workers, who provide essential services as cleaners, porters, patient food catering workers, reception staff, and security guards, work in the NHS on a contract run by private company Serco. As well as fighting for an improved pay rise, 15% for all NHS workers, they are fighting to bring the contract back in-house.
Serco has given the NHS Trust 18 months' notice that it will be ending its contract in April 2023. It has made huge profits over the years by driving down the conditions of outsourced staff and keeping pay low.
Serco Group PLC had a turnover of £3.9 billion last year but the multinational has eventually offered just a 3% pay 'hike'. The staff, which include cleaners and porters, are paid up to 15% less than directly employed NHS staff.
Picket lines have been huge, and strikers have been attending rallies at each hospital to bring the pickets together. The latest was a tremendous rally at Barts hospital on 9 February. The strike action has also encouraged more workers across the hospitals to get organised, and new reps have come forward.
Socialist Party members have been down to support the pickets every day and encouraged other trade unionists and campaigners to come. Other staff, patients and passers-by have all given enthusiastic support to the fight.
We say: bring services back in-house now! The Barts' bosses should be held accountable for the disaster which privatisation has meant for the staff.
The Barts workers will start a further fortnight of action on 28 February. Socialist Party members in East London will continue to stand with them on the picket lines.
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In The Socialist 16 February 2022:
What we think
Britain's economic growth figures mask fragile false recovery
'Labour by name - Tory by policy'
Covid: Fight for full sick pay
Met police boss ousted
Tory stealth taxes burden 'packhorse generation'
Left Labour MPs under pressure over Erdington
'Stand together and fight'
Neither Washington, London nor Moscow
Australian nurses strike against understaffing and low pay
Birmingham Erdington by-election
Campaigning in Birmingham Erdington by-election
From our history: 1972 miners' strike
PCS Elections 2022: Time for new union leadership
Barts NHS strike
NEU strike at girls' school chain over pensions
University workers striking back
"If we don't fight, we won't win!"
Just Eat strike spreads and forces concessions
Join the scaffs mass picket at Scunthorpe steelworks
Worksop Wincanton workers win pay rise after strike
West Sussex care campaigners' victory
Why I'm going to Socialist Students conference
Campaigning to make 2 March student walkout happen
Stop eviction of Camden homeless collective
East Sussex: Poverty and cuts bring people to Socialist Party
Save St Mary's Leisure Centre
Fund us to fight for socialism
TV: 'Death of Two Black Men: Police in the Spotlight'
TV: 'A Killing in Tiger Bay'
How Cardiff Bay's redevelopment led to 'social cleansing'
The Socialist 16 February 2022 |
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