No to Hunt’s imposition – Solidarity with the junior doctors – Sign the statement

12 February 2016

No to Hunt’s imposition – Solidarity with the junior doctors – Sign the statement

This week Jeremy Hunt imposed the junior contract on junior doctors. The deadline is 1 August. This follows their two successful and well supported strikes on 12 January and 10 February. The doctors’ picket lines have consistently put across the message that this is a fight to save the NHS, and have won considerable public support.

It is now urgent that the whole trade union movement rises to the challenge of building solidarity with the doctors.

If the Tories’ can get away with imposing contracts on the doctors they can do the same to anyone. Unite the Resistance has helped to launch a statement in response to Hunt’s imposition, which raises some ways in which the trade union movement needs to respond.

Below is the text of the statement, which among other things calls for a national demonstration’ which has now been signed by: Mark Serwotka (PCS), Kevin Courtney (NUT), Ian Hodson and Ronnie Draper (BFAWU), Liz Lawrence (UCU), Dave Ward (CWU), Ken Loach (film director), Tony Burke (Unite), Chris Stephens MP, Jane Aitchison and Sean Vernell (Unite the Resistance) and many others.

“We are outraged that health secretary Jeremy Hunt has announced the imposition of a new contract for junior doctors. The contract, as the British Medical Association has repeatedly and rightly said, is not safe and is not fair.

The decision to impose a contract is a sign of total failure on the government’s part. Instead of working with the BMA to reach an agreement that is in the best interests of patients, junior doctors and the NHS as a whole the government has decided to use bullying and diktat.

The imposition is a threat not only to junior doctors but to the whole of the NHS and to all trade unionists. If negotiation is pushed aside then the essential basis of unions is forfeited.
If Hunt gets away with this, the same tactics may well be used to force through the abolition of unsocial hours payments throughout the NHS and other cost-slashing measures across the public sector.

Coming in the week of the TUC’s “heart unions” action, it is obvious this government “hates unions”.”

Read on here (where you can also sign the statement). Please share it widely.

Unite the Resistance is also hosting a #HuntMustGo Thunderclap on Wednesday 17 February at 4pm, to take part on Facebook and Twitter go here

Heartunions week
This week has seen thousands of workers around the country participate in heartunions activities around the country. It was great to follow #heartunions on social media and see all the sefies. It is clear that the week of action has helped to raise the profile of the issue of the trade union bill.

Some were able to organise walkouts on the day workers at the Health and Safety Executive, members of the PCS and Prospect at Rose Court in London did this and you can see photos of their protest here

But nothing could have underlined the urgency of the task to #KillTheBill than Hunt’s imposition of the junior doctors’ contracts. This government “Hates unions”. As well as the key question of building solidarity with the doctors, trade unionists at every level need to meet to decide next steps in the campaign.

Unite the Resistance helped initiate the following letter to the press this week:

As the TUC’s ‘heartunions’ week of action gathers pace it’s become clear that the governments’ strategy on the Trade Union Bill is in tatters (“Ministers planning concessions over trade union bill because they fear Lords defeats” – Guardian politics live blog).

The trade union and anti-austerity movement should take note and take heart.

The combination of grass roots campaigning and an opposition led by Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell who are prepared to defend workers’ rights inside Parliament is making a real impact.

We must redouble our campaigning efforts against the Trade Union Bill and prepare the ground for defiance of any attempt to limit our right to strike and organise.

Mark Serwotka (General Secretary PCS)
Matt Wrack (General Secretary FBU)
Ronnie Draper (General Secretary BFAWU)
Jane Aitchison & Sean Vernell (Joint Secretaries Unite the Resistance)
Ian Hodson (National President BFAWU)
Dave Smith (Secretary Blacklist support group)

Trade unionists for Calais
Sara Tomlinson writes for Unite the Resistance explain why she has organised a half-term delegation to the Calais refugee camp:

“I’m joining and helping to organise a delegation of trade unionists to the refugee camps in Calais. When we see pictures of refugee children being rescued from boats and see the indignity of tens of thousands of people being forced to live in appalling conditions, then listen to politicians coming out with Islamophobic statements, designed to divide us and to stop us uniting against their vicious welfare and public sector attacks, often we feel despair.

Following a visit in December I suggested a trade union visit with a focus on bringing the political message about migrants and refugee camps into our trade unions and pressing for change.

Read on here

March 19 Anti-racism day
Assemble 12 noon Portland Place London W1A 1AA, demonstrations also in Glasgow and Cardiff.
Followed by march and rally in Trafalgar Square
Join Facebook event here – invite your friends, share and tweet!

All out for UN anti-racism day!

#RefugeesWelcome #BlackLivesMatter
No to Islamophobia, Anti-Semitism & Scapegoating Migrants. Yes to diversity!

A racist offensive against refugees, migrants and Muslims is being pushed by some politicians and press. It is crucial we respond to this by standing in solidarity against attempts to divide our communities. The appalling treatment of refugees across Europe and the staggering rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes must be challenged.

Let’s send a message that drives back the tide of racism, fascism, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and the scapegoating of migrants and refugees – we say refugees welcome here and yes to diversity!

Join the Europe-wide UN Anti-Racism Day Demonstration when tens of thousands march across Britain, with major mobilisations in London, Scotland and Wales joining thousands in cities across Europe and around the world to say no to racism.

Stand Up To Racism has led some of the biggest anti-racist mobilisations in Britain of the last decade, including the UN Anti-racism day demonstrations of 2014 and 2015 and the 100,000 strong Refugees Welcome demonstration on 12th September 2015.

Join Facebook event here – invite your friends, share and tweet!

National strike over pay in Further Education Colleges, Wednesday 24 February
Members of the University and College Union (UCU) and UNISON in further education colleges in England will be taking strike action on Wednesday 24 February in a row over pay. Read morehere

Small Heath school push back academisation
In a victory for the campaign of strikes at the school – academisation is now off the table. The fight now is to get union rep Simon O’Hara reinstated and teachers at the school have voted for nine more days of strikes in order in his defence.

To sign the petition go here

Support them here

1 comment

  1. Kathrene Perry said:

    This government is the most divisive, they continually miss represent the facts and demonise the people the welfare state was created for, while they are silently selling off all of Britian’s assets to Global companies or their friends/family. Horrific, deplorable behavior, they have to be brought to book

    15 February 2016 at 9:45pm

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