Socialist Worker

Hundreds of Wigan health workers plan to escalate strikes against outsourcing

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2609

Wigan health workers picketing during a previous strike

Wigan health workers picketing during a previous strike (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Hundreds of health workers resisting the threat of outsourcing in Wigan borough plan to launch a five-day strike from Thursday of next week.

Bosses at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh (WWL) NHS Trust want to outsource 600 porters, cleaners and support workers to WWL Solutions Ltd. It is a “wholly-owned subsidiary” (see page 17).

Unison and Unite union members have already held two 48-hour strikes over the last two months.

Unison, which represents the majority of workers, has called the walkout from Thursday. Workers in Unite will walk out alongside them for the five days—and will also strike on Wednesday of next week.

The action coincides with a meeting of the WWL Trust board. Some Unison members plan to show solidarity with the Unite members’ picket lines during their lunch breaks.

Unite is not asking Unison to respect its picket lines.

But picket lines are organised so strikers can argue with colleagues and other groups of workers not to go in. Showing solidarity by not crossing picket lines is a crucial weapon in the hands of the working class.

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