THE SERCO workers marked the beginning of the second week of their two-week strike yesterday with a lively picket line outside the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London
There were also big picket lines at the other three hospitals where the Serco workers are on strike: Whipps Cross in Walthamstow, Mile End Hospital and Bart’s. They are demanding a 3% pay rise and no job cuts. Strikers on the picket outside the Royal London blew vuvuzela’s and shouted: ‘Low pay! No way!’
Striking Unite rep Ebrima Sonto said: ‘We are still fighting, the spirit is still high. We need to develop the strike. There should be a demonstration to demand Unison come out as well. Other Unison branches are supporting us but not this branch at Bart’s Health. The unions must take action to defend the NHS. One union can’t do it they need to team up. We have to kick the Tories out.’
Unite member Agnes Quamsah said: ‘These private companies shouldn’t be in the NHS. But if they are, they should treat us properly. They pay us peanuts, we need at least £10 an hour. We want to be back in the NHS.
‘The government is giving everything to the privatisation, to the private contractors. Serco have overloaded us, they put extra jobs on us. We are doing more work with not enough people. Unison should be on strike as well.
‘When we win anything they will benefit out of it, so they should strike with us. We should go to the Unison head and tell him to instruct the Unison members to strike with us. All the unions must take action to defend the NHS. We can’t let it be privatised, we have to fight for it – for us and the future generation. There has to be a general strike. We want to get rid of the Tories.’