Socialist Worker

Reports round-up: Protests against NHS cuts and privatisation

Issue No. 2524

Hundreds marched through Telford

Hundreds marched through Telford (Pic: Dave Smith)


Supporters of Keep Our NHS Public (KONP) protested outside QMC hospital, Nottingham, on Friday of last week after a rat was found in a ward kitchen.

An angry public meeting also took place in Grantham, Lincolnshire on Saturday against the evening closure of A&E at Grantham Hospital.

The nearest A&Es open at night are now in Nottingham and Lincoln. Many fear the hospital’s closure.

Some 3,000 people joined a protest last month. Another is set for Saturday 29 October—the same day as a protest in Leicester to save the children’s unit at Glenfield Hospital.

Richard Buckwell

Hundreds marched through Telford on Saturday against proposals to close the A&E and women and children’s services at the Princess Royal Hospital. Protesters rejected attempts to play off the services in Telford and Shrewsbury against each other—both are needed

Dave Smith


Manchester chiefs under fire and back down on sack

Bosses at Greater Manchester Fire Authority have backed down from putting all firefighters on redundancy notice.

They wanted to force through new contracts with new terms and conditions—and slash 250 jobs.

But an angry response from FBU union members forced bosses to retreat.

Bosses still plan to make cuts and are in talks with union officials.


Stop presses for Newsquest jobs

Journalists working on regional newspapers in south London were set to begin a 14-day strike this Thursday.

The NUJ union members at Newsquest newspapers are fighting plans to slash jobs—with nearly the entire newsroom at risk of being made redundant.

Bosses have said they want to axe 11 jobs. The remaining 18 workers will be expected to produce 11 newspapers and eight websites if the cuts go ahead.


Ritzy’s revenge opens on Friday

Workers at the Ritzy cinema in Brixton, south London, are set to strike from Friday at 7pm in an ongoing dispute over pay.

It follows a strike on Saturday 20 September. They’re demanding the London Living Wage of £9.40 an hour and maternity, paternity and sick pay.


Glasgow council divides unions

Some 100 Unison and GMB union members at Glasgow council-owned firm Community Safety Glasgow, struck for 48 hours last weekend against cuts to unsocial hours pay.

About 30 Unite members were due to join the action but decided not to strike after management made an offer over a separate issue of pay protection. Unison and GMB members have voted to take further action.


Airport protesters take on Heathrow

More than 100 people protested inside London Heathrow airport last Saturday against plans for airport expansion.

The protest, organised by Reclaim the Power, included a “die-in” on the terminal floor. Airport expansion will have deadly effects on the climate.

Parliament is set to vote later this month on where to build a new runway in London, with Tory MPs divided over Heathrow.


Pay action on Ipswich buses

About 140 Ipswich bus drivers were set to strike for 24 hours on Monday in a battle against low pay for those starting on the job.

The action is aimed at raising the pay for the lowest paid drivers working for Ipswich Buses, which is owned by the borough council.

The strike will start at 4.55am on 10 October.

Unite regional officer Steve Linger said, “All drivers will be striking in solidarity in this fight—they voted by a majority of 90 percent for strikes.

Two-thirds of the drivers have accepted the new rate of £11 but newer drivers have been offered £8.81 an hour.

Agency shame at Coventry University

Bosses at Coventry University are attacking workers’ conditions by using subsidiary firms, according to the UCU union.

The UCU has written to the university to condemn CU Services Ltd for sacking workers with a plan to re-employ them through agency thefutureworks, a trading name of Coventry University Enterprises Ltd.

Both this and CU Services Ltd are wholly owned by Coventry University.

UCU general secretary Sally Hunt called the plan “shameful”. Workers last month won union recognition at CU Services Ltd after a unanimous vote.


Workers at Hull College have voted by 86 percent for strikes to save jobs.Bosses plan to make 141 redundancies—meaning the closure of all nurseries and a number of courses.


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