Some 300 people in the pathology department at King’s College Hospital in London are to be balloted for strike action against privatisation. The workers are in the Unite union.
Hospital directors want to force through the privatisation as early as October.
But there is widespread resistance to the plans.
The Unite and Unison trade unions and the Federation of Clinical Scientists have written to hospital management asking for the plans to be halted.
Frank Wood, Unite national executive member and biomedical scientist, said that the private sector has failed to successfully run pathology in the past and that a profit agenda will “inevitably affect the quality of patient care”.
Meanwhile, a meeting in Somerset last week launched a campaign against NHS privatisation.
Health visitors, school nurses, hospital and health workers across Somerset Community Health Service attended the meeting as well as service users.
Health workers are demanding the right to ballot over the issue.
“We are being strong armed and railroaded,” one health visitor said at the meeting.
“We love the NHS and we want to remain a part of it.
“We are being told that this must be sorted by the end of September and there is nothing we can do about it. Well, we’ll see about that.”
A petition has been launched and a protest is being held at a key meeting of Somerset PCT on Wednesday of next week.
Activists are asking health workers and services users to join the protest at 10am, Wynford House, Lufton Way, Yeovil BS22 8HR.
To get involved email Bridgwater Trades Union Council: firstname.lastname@example.org