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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

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


News

'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


Erdington by-election

Birmingham Erdington by-election

Campaigning in Birmingham Erdington by-election


Saltley Gate

From our history: 1972 miners' strike


PCS elections

PCS Elections 2022: Time for new union leadership


Workplace news

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


Campaigns

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


Readers' opinion

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'


 

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Related links:

East London:

triangleNewham City Farm - closed with no consultation

triangleEast London Socialist Party: The East London Matchgirls' strike

triangleForce back Serco and Barts management!

triangleNHS workers begin strike for 15% and against outsourcing

triangleOaks Park School: valiant strike exposed state of schools

NHS:

triangleTV review: This is Going to Hurt

trianglePrivatisation and crisis in the NHS

triangleBarts NHS workers to walk out again on 28 February

triangleTeesside Socialist Party: NHS and social care in crisis

Strike:

triangleWorkers and students unite and fight

triangleRail workers strike in Sheffield

triangleJust Eat couriers continue action to fight pay cut

Barts:

triangleUnite and fight for a decent pay rise

triangleBarts NHS workers strike back

Workers:

triangleFor workers' unity against war in Ukraine

Pay:

triangleUniversity workers continue strike against bosses' attacks

London:

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: Crisis in the Ukraine

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