DONCASTER care workers have stepped up their fight yesterday, the first day of a further three weeks of strike action in an escalating battle over wages.
Roger Hutt, Doncaster Care UK striker, chair of the strike committee and Unison shop steward told News Line: ‘This is the 70th day of our strike and we feel that we have gained momentum and the consciousness of the nation.
‘They recognise that our dispute represents the fight for the salvation of the NHS from the wolves of the private sector whose aim is profit before people.
‘People that I have cared for all my life are deemed as commodities to be brought and sold for profit.
‘To perceive anybody in that context is reprehensible!
‘This is the first day of the three week strike which, by the end of this, will be 91 days of strike action which will make it the longest dispute in the history of health care in the UK.
‘We have organised an open top bus tour of the financial quarters in London on 8th October.
‘If we don’t get what we want at the end of this strike we will ballot again, we have come this far and we are not about capitulate.
‘The last negotiations new Care UK employees were offered a 2% pay rise, the old NHS trust employees were offered nothing, with the proviso that come April 2015 whatever the NHS offer their workers, Care UK will be happy match it.
‘Care UK portray us in the media as irresponsible for not being prepared to negotiate, but what are they asking us to negotiate? They are offering us nothing!
‘Ideally what we want is that this Care UK company slings their hook and the service will go back into the NHS.
‘Ultimately what we are demanding is a living wage and will continue our strike until we get it.
‘They have not met the likes of us before, we are Yorkshire folk, we don’t give in to intimidation and we are in for the long haul.’