Socialist Worker

Heartlands hospital porters ready for new strikes

Issue No. 2739

Porters are determined to win

Porters are determined to win (Pic: Unison Heartlands Porters Dispute on Facebook)

Porters at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham are preparing to strike next week.

The Unison union members will be taking to picket lines for three days from Monday 1 February. They have already held 11 days of strikes.

The long-running dispute centres on bosses’ plans to impose a new rota that will force workers onto rotating shifts that will hugely disrupt porters’ lives.

The change is set to take place on 1 February.


Striker Royston Bray has worked for the hospital for 23 years. He said, “There are going to be nine different start times. You’ll be doing a couple of days of one shift and then have a day off. Then you’ll be doing a couple of days on the next shift.

“So many porters have got commitments. Some are carers, and some take their kids to school or childminders. People just won’t be able to cope.”

Unison regional organiser Claire Breeze said,  “How can a publicly-run National Health Service dismiss their staff and re-engage them because negotiations have failed?”

Anger at management finds a particular focus when directed against the chair of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Trust— former Labour home secretary Jacqui Smith.

The city’s eight Labour MPs have written to Smith condemning the firing and rehiring.

Smith is perhaps best known for her part in the MPs’ expenses scandal, which the former chair of the Committee on Standards in Public Life described as “near fraudulent”.

Donations to Unison University Hospitals Birmingham Branch 22536, Unity Trust Bank, account number: 20403849, sort code: 60-83-01 Messages of support to [email protected] and [email protected] For updates go to  Unison Heartlands Porters Dispute on Facebook

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