UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Southampton hospital workers strike again

Last time it was snowing and raining, this time bright sunshine greeted the still solid and growing strike by 250 UNISON members at Southampton General Hospital. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-hampshire-12668982 

These cleaners and domestics are getting more organised. Rotas for the picketing, a barbeque and other amenities are now organised by the workers. They want to keep everyone involved and everyone has a role to play. They are now wearing ribbons in UNISON colours – purple and green – on International Women’s Day, an irony not lost on many of them as the majority of these workers are low paid women.

The mood is terrific and the determination fierce. Workers of all nationalities waving placards and blowing vivizuelas, Polish, Spanish, Pakistani, Indian, Latvian and British joining together to win the pay that they have been denied.

Pay that would help with their debts and their coming debts as they too have to cope with 20% VAT , 4% inflation and petrol prices that they can ill afford. 6 of the workers have demanded a meeting with the Trust Chief Executive Mark Hackett who earns £195,000 a year and gets sick pay. That meeting will now take place on Wednesday. The workers who want to meet him want to put the case for the low paid to him. They are angry but are clear they are not going in to shout at him, but to reason.

The workers will be out again next week for another 3 days – unless the multinational giant Compass Medirest and the Trust settle with them.