Skip navigation

Indymedia UK is a network of individuals, independent and alternative media activists and organisations, offering grassroots, non-corporate, non-commercial coverage of important social and political issues

Bury St Edmonds strikers in frontline battle against Privatisation of NHS

East Anglia Social Forum | 11.09.2006 23:16 | Health | Social Struggles | Workers' Movements | Cambridge

Bury St Edmonds workers are on the frontline of one of the countries most important battles to protect the NHS against privatisation. Blair’s government wants to sell off part of the NHS called NHS Logistics to DHS, the private haulage firm based in Germany on 1st October.

DHS is set to make £3.7 billion from the deal to privatise NHS logistics, which supplies equipment to hospitals and GP's. The move could threaten the conditions, pay and jobs of 1,700 NHS workers and put profit before healthcare needs. This is one of the largest ever health privatisation schemes, worth £22 billion in purchases over a 10 year contract.

The NHS logistics workers have voted by 74% for strike action against the privatisation. The 1,700 workers are based in five centres across the country: Alfreton (Derbyshire), Runcorn (Cheshire), Normanton (West Yorkshire), Maidstone (Kent) and Bury St Edmonds (Suffolk).

A Unison branch secretary from the Bury St Edmunds depot in Suffolk, spoke about her concerns. “We are particularly worried about new starters,” she said. “Will they have the same sick pay, holiday pay and so on?”

She added, “There was a feeling of deflation when we heard the news that the privatisation was going through. But now we’re getting over that feeling and thinking that we have to show our strength.

“At the end of the day, DHL want profits. I’m worried for the future of the whole NHS. I’m prepared to do anything to prove that we’re not pushovers.”

Unison and a coalition of other health Unions are also launching a campaign defend the values and ethos of the NHS and fight against its marketisation and privatisation by the new labour government.

Unison leader Dave Prentis said: "Solidarity will be crucial in the next few months as the NHS faces its biggest test yet".

All those throughout East Anglia and beyond who want to defend the NHS, stop privatisation and help put people before profit should rally around the NHS logistics strikers at Bury St Edmonds and the four other national centres. Support the coming strike - Visit their picket lines! Raise Money! Create Solidarity!

East Anglia Social Forum
- Homepage:


Display the following comment

  1. Fighting The Good Fight... — Pick It