Tories under pressure in Junior Doctors’ dispute

5 May 2016

After months of intransigence on the part of Tory health secretary Hunt, the Tories have been forced to seek to get back to the table and talk as a result of the pressure built up by the incredible junior doctors’ strikes to defend the NHS.

The Tories have agreed to suspend the imposition of the contract for five days to talk with the BMA, if the threat to strike is also suspended for five days.  The BMA Junior Doctors’ Committee meets this week to discuss the next steps in the dispute.

The chant heard on BMA picket lines and marches the length and breadth of the country remains as true as ever—“Not Safe Not Fair, Jeremy Hunt Doesn’t Care”. The junior doctors’ fight is everyone’s fight. It is about defending our NHS, defending our union rights, and defending safe and fair working conditions for all, and particularly those making life-and-death decisions on a daily basis.

Despite the Tories’ disgusting attempts to demonise the junior doctors, public support has continued to grow for the BMA’s battle against the dangerous contract.

While the U-turn by Jeremy Hunt shows the pressure the Tories have come under as a result of the brilliant momentum and support built up around the strikes, it is clear that Hunt is hinging a lot on defeating the BMA and imposing the contract. The BMA is right to continue to insist that the contract is dangerous, sexist and not fit for purpose.

We cannot leave the junior doctors to fight alone. It is the duty of every trade unionist, and our movement as a whole to throw all the solidarity we possibly can at this dispute and help the junior doctors to throw this contract into the dustbin of history. That would be a fantastic victory for us all.

That means delivering real solidarity.

Unite the Resistance welcomes the call that has come from PCS leader Mark Serwotka for a TUC day of action in support of the junior doctors, and congratulates those unions for pushing to up the levels of solidarity and make sure our movement delivers for the junior doctors. This call was neither accepted nor rejected at the TUC General Council meeting on 27 April 2016.

Unite the Resistance pledges to organise across the trade union movement and use our networks to back the call from PCS leader Mark Serwotka for a TUC day of action in support of the junior doctors, as well as any day of action organised by individual unions, or a ‘coalition of the willing’. Support for this call should be raised on every union’s executive.

And we pledge to continue to organise and encourage delegations to junior doctor’s strike picket lines by local union branches and activists in workplaces, and to support and encourage any solidarity initiatives for the junior doctors, such as local support meetings, rallies and protests.

It is clear that it is the Tories who don’t care about our NHS, and it is the junior doctors who are fighting to defend it. They cannot be left to fight alone.

Victory to the junior doctors!

Pass this motion to back the call for a TUC national day of action in support of junior doctors’ strikes.

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