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From The Socialist newspaper, 21 April 2010

Laundry workers fight closure

Laundry workers were joined by nurses, porters and other hospital staff in a protest outside Gateshead's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, against the planned closure of the hospital's laundry.

Margaret Johnson, one of the laundry workers whose job is threatened, said: "They told us it would be cheaper to divert laundry to Leicester, a 300 mile trip, than to do the laundry at the QE hospital."

Another laundry worker, Wendy Cowie, said: "This is going to have a big impact on the wards. Now they phone up and ask for sheets, gowns etc and they have them in minutes. All the travel between this hospital and Leicester isn't going to be very environmentally friendly. What happens if we have another bad winter?"

Laundry workers had been sent letters telling them their jobs would be safe until 2015. Now they are being told their contract will end on 31 May. Also, they are being told they must apply for jobs in Newcastle hospitals - if they don't they will lose their redundancy money.

One of the workers said that the jobs they are offering in Newcastle are for only a few hours a week. If you take the job you hardly have any pay and lose your redundancy, if you don't apply for it you also lose your redundancy.

Elaine Brunskill

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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.

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In The Socialist 21 April 2010:

Stop these savage cuts: support the socialist alternative


Youth fight for jobs

Young people facing a fight for their future

National Union of Students conference: Campaign needed against fees and cuts


Socialist Party editorial

Left candidates excluded from media


LibDem Surge

Big business as usual for Liberal Democrats

TV debate - Party leaders compete for the same policies


Transport

Volcanic eruption brings travel chaos: Planned and integrated transport system vital

Planes, trains and automobiles


Socialist Party news and analysis

Cameron turns back clock on women's rights

Banks use microloans to fleece poor

Fast news


Socialist Party election campaign

Doncaster - Jarvis's vicious sackings and workers' fightback

Portsmouth North: "An ordinary guy to represent ordinary workers"

Lewisham councillors' record

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Coventry: Standing up for public services

Colne Valley / Huddersfield: Kirklees' only fighting councillor

Spelthorne: "The trade union candidate guy"

A chance to put your questions to your local Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates.


Anti-racism

Why the BNP offers no way forward for working class people

Anti-BNP protest


International socialist news and analysis

Progressive Workers Federation of Pakistan founded

Sri Lanka parliamentary elections: Rajapaksa's clan consolidates its rule


Socialist Party features

National Care Service - fact or fiction?

1936 - A play about the Olympics


Socialist Party workplace news

Vote to boycott SATs

Civil service dispute continues

Fighting cuts at Coventry council

Strike ballot at Manchester Metropolitan University

Unison health conference

Laundry workers fight closure

Dover trade unions against privatisation

National Shop Stewards Network 2010 conference:


 

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