The TUC must call a general strike! say Barts Hospital strikers

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Lively mass picket outside Barts hospital yesterday morning

STRIKING Royal London Hospital ancillary workers rallying outside Barts Hospital in their fight for pay and improved conditions yesterday demanded that the TUC Special Congress on Saturday 9th December must call a general strike to smash the Tory anti-union laws.

Barts Unite rep Ellen Barzey told News Line: ‘We’re here because of our bank pay. We don’t mind doing it, but they should be paying us overtime.

‘Also we are fighting for our lump sum. We’ve been refused because they say we were not in the trust when it was awarded. We were due to go into the trust but they decided to take us in house on 1st May.

‘Everyone else was taken in in March. We thought we were being treated differently because the majority of us are BAME. That’s one of the reasons why we are striking.

‘Also we are fighting for less of a workload. People are tired, people are calling in sick, they have back injuries.’

Asked about the new Strikes Minimum Service Levels regulations, she said: ‘We have to stand up to anti-union laws. All unions should stand together.’

Unite domestic rep at Barts, Kakeya Wele, said: ‘We need fair pay. We do a hard job, it’s not easy. As domestics we are exposed on the wards. We need pay for what we do. We are struggling for the NHS.

‘We deserve good pay and good treatment. The government are no good. Life is too expensive and they are cutting the funds for the NHS. We got out of the private employer to be part of the NHS.

‘The private employer was no good. We won our strike to be in-house as part of the NHS, but the trust hasn’t kept its promises.’

Commenting on the new anti-union laws, he added: ‘The new law against strikers has to be defeated. The TUC special congress next month must call a general strike.

‘All the unions need to come out to win, fight together to win against the Tory government. We need our own government.’

Members of the pathology department, who were also on strike yesterday, joined the demonstration.

The whole of the picket organised a noisy march round the hospital.

There is a mass picket and rally outside Royal London Hospital tomorrow.