The picket line outside Pinderfields hospital in Wakefield, west Yorkshire, was buzzing on Monday of this week.
Admin workers in the Unison and Unite unions, who are mainly women, had begun a five-day strike over pay and job cuts.
Those at Dewsbury and District Hospital and Pontefract Hospital (see below) walked out too.
By 9am there were more than 50 pickets at Pinderfields Hospital. Around 30 led an impromptu and loud march around the hospital.
Morale was high. Many felt that this week’s strikes are part of an effective strategy that can win.
One picket told Socialist Worker, “After one day management pretended not to take much notice.
“But after five I don’t think they’ll be able to stick to that line.”
The action has clearly rattled bosses. “Managers are trying to emotionally blackmail us,” said one striker. “They’ll speak to workers one at a time, or in small groups without the union there.”
But she added, “The strikes are having an impact.”
The noise of car horns tooting in support was constant.
“The public support has been fantastic,” said another picket.
“People understand because everywhere people are facing the same thing.
“It’s one rule for us and another for the rich. It’s about time people stood up and fought back.”
Over 20 strikers picketed Pontefract Hospital on Monday of this week.
It was the first day of a five-day strike against downgrading workers’ jobs and imposing huge pay cuts.
Unite and Unison union members joined the walkout.
Unite members Bev and Sandra told Socialist Worker, “We are Patient Pathway Coordinators dealing with cancer patients.
“Yet we are being made to apply for our own jobs.
“At least six of us will get a pay cut of £6,000 a year.
“We’re fighting for justice for ourselves and to defend the quality of the service we provide.”
Two women pickets in Unison added, “Admin staff have a massive role to play in the quality of health care so doctors and nurses are supporting us.”
Another picket said, “We have bullies for managers.
“And the only way you can beat bullies is to stand together and show them we’re not prepared to put up with it.”
Send messages of support to [email protected]. Send donations to Mid Yorks Unison c/o Trade Union Office, Pinderfields Hospital, Aberford Road, Wakefield WF1 4DG. Make cheques payable to Mid Yorks UNISON 20671
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