THERE was a very lively picket at the Royal London Hospital of Serco workers yesterday, on the third day of their current 14-day strike.
They are demanding a 30p-an-hour pay increase and to defend working conditions against increased exploitation and cuts in staff. Elizabeth Bonsu, ward host, said: ‘We don’t want to leave the NHS. We want to stay NHS. We still need our pay to rise up, we need more pay.’
Mohammed Leigh, Unite steward, said: ‘We are still here and we are still strong. We are pushing forward with unity until we see the end of it. I have been working here for 17 years, doing my job and maintaining my area in the fracture clinic. I came as a boy, now I am a man.
‘They are using us. Our bills are going up, we are struggling for our families. If we don’t succeed this week we will be out next week. We will fight to the last, through rain, sun, cold. Different union branches are supporting us, it is affecting all of us here. We are all feeling the pinch. It doesn’t work to come and privatise us to Serco. We worked for the NHS for years.
‘All the members are not happy with Serco. Why are they privatising us? The hospital will not be clean. These contractors could go any time. They are short-paying so many of us. It’s not what we had before, I could manage before. They should know we will never give up!’
Dorit Hollasky who works for the Dresden State hospital in Germany, and is on holiday in the UK, joined the picket line and gave it her full support. She told News Line: ‘In Dresden we are fighting the attempts to privatise the Dresden State Hospital, and we are determined to win that fight. The struggle against privvatisation is international, and it is a fight that must be won by all of us.’