Delegates to Unison union’s annual health sector conference were in an angry mood this week.
Following the huge 26 March TUC demonstration against cuts, a spirit of resistance has been growing among activists.
“The size of the march took many delegates by surprise,” Unison health executive member Karen Reissmann told Socialist Worker.
“Many of them did not realise just how angry union members are. The march has proved that if the union acts, workers and the public will give us their backing.”
With the government determined to ram through cuts, privatisation and a major attack on pensions, there is much for the union to do.
Many delegates were frustrated with the slow response of their union leaders and the lack of a clear strategy for resistance.
“In Bolton, where I’m active, we’ve proved that members want action,” says Karen.
“Our recent protest against Tory attacks on the NHS saw 50 people out petitioning in the town centre and 70 outside the hospital.
“We got 900 signatures in just an hour and a half.
“As the Tories’ health ‘reforms’ run into growing opposition, there couldn’t be a better time for us to fight back.”