Dudley PFI battle hots up
HEALTH WORKERS at the Dudley Group of Hospitals are set to strike for two days next week following an overwhelming 83 percent vote for strike action. The 500 UNISON members were forced to reballot after hospital trust bosses used the anti trade union laws to challenge the initial 85 percent vote for strikes. The low paid, mainly women ancillary workers are fighting against being transferred to a private consortium running a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme.
A new hospital will be built under PFI. But this will mean a wave of staff cuts and devastation to patient services in the West Midlands. Even the trust admits that there will be at least 70 fewer beds when the PFI hospital is built.
Mark New, joint UNISON branch secretary, says, "This second ballot result is another overwhelming mandate for strike action. "In some sections of the hospitals people are even more determined to fight." The strike is due to take place on Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 August.
- Rush messages of support and donations to Union Offices, Wordsley Hospital, Stourbridge, West Midlands, DY8 5XQ. Phone/fax 01384 244 350.
AROUND 50 protesters took to the streets of Tiverton, mid-Devon, last week to demand the reinstatement of all maternity services, which were suspended last year. The protest was called by local councillors and supported by midwives, UNISON union members, plus mums and babies. After the march some 200 people crammed into a stormy meeting of the health authority.