Dudley strikers fight on
THE DUDLEY health strikers are continuing their latest round of three-week strike action against the handover of their jobs to a private consortium. Their determination has again forced the NHS trust to delay signing the contract to transfer over 600 ancillary workers out of the NHS.
The strikers have held over 130 days of strike action since 1 August last year. They plan to lobby fellow union members at the UNISON health workers' conference in Cardiff next week. The strikers also plan to hold a fringe meeting at the conference. Many of them are bitterly angry that UNISON leaders have not put the union's full weight behind the dispute.
Trade unionists and campaigners are, however, championing the strike. Mark Serwotka, the general secretary elect of the PCS union, put out a call in December for union members to support the strikers.
There has been a flood of money from PCS union branches as a result. The strikers were invited to address the 50-strong annual general meeting last week of the PCS union at the Child Support Agency in Brierley Hill in Dudley. Branches of the firefighters' union have also been sending in donations to the Dudley strike fund.
The strikers are building on local support for their fight against NHS privatisation by standing striker Angela Thompson as a Socialist Alliance candidate in the Dudley South constituency. Strikers and supporters held a stall in the Kingswinford shopping centre last Saturday, and leafleted local estates as part of Angela's campaign.
- Support the Dudley strikers-fight privatisation. Lobby UNISON health conference, Monday 26 March, from 9am, Cardiff International Arena. Fringe meeting, 12.30pm, Angel hotel, Cardiff.