Workers at NHS Logistics, the not for profit body that supplies hospitals across the country, are expected to give notice of a strike ballot this week.
The dispute is a crucial battle to defend the NHS. The government wants to outsource the organisation to the private consortium DHL/Novation.
The workers, members of the Unison union, are among the most powerful to be targeted for privatisation. If the five depots - at Maidstone, Alfreton, Runcorn, Normanton and Bury St Edmunds - went on strike, they could shut down the NHS in three days.
Dave Prentis, general secretary of Unison, told the workers, “We are supporting the call for industrial action - to show the government we are united in our opposition to the outsourcing of NHS Logistics.”
This support must be turned into the serious strike action that can roll back a key privatisation plan. At present a one-day national strike followed by one-day local actions at individual depots is planned.
The workers deserve wide support. Already £2,000 has been pledged by Manchester Community Health Unison, £1,000 by Oxford Health Unison and £200 by UCL Hospitals Unison in London.
lSend messages of support and cheques to Sotirios Loizou, Unison, 1 Mabledon Place, London WC1H 9AJ. Cheques should be made payable to Unison - NHS Logistics Dispute.