Workers from the United Voices of the World (UVW) union have achieved a “historic victory”. According to the UVW, the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust is now ending “decades of outsourcing to private contractors”. The decision from the Trust’s board ended a three-month-long dispute with UVW.
The dispute involved around 200 UVW members and included mass pickets, occupations, blockades and protest at a board meeting. Their joyful, determined campaign has resulted in them becoming NHS employees. This victory sets an example for ALL outsourced NHS staff to follow!! 2/3 pic.twitter.com/BKmzgyiH84
— United Voices of the World (@UVWunion) January 30, 2020
As the union reported:
Several hundred workers, outsourced for over 3 decades to global giants such as Sodexo and ISS across 5 hospitals belonging to Imperial Trust, will now enjoy the same pay and terms and conditions as NHS staff.
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
The UVW’s Kane Shaw, meanwhile, insisted:
We consistently get the goods because we’re member led, horizontal and not afraid to move straight to strike or use direct action. Workers at the point of production are more powerful than the bosses. It really is that simple. https://t.co/lgAxjKcM5W
— Kane Shaw (@KaneShaw16) January 30, 2020
Setting a “historic precedent”
UVW co-founder and strike organiser Petros Elia called this “a huge victory” not only for workers at the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust “but for all outsourced workers in the NHS”:
Our members were told they would never win this fight, but with the full backing of UVW and mass picketing, blockades and occupations they’ve won against all odds. This victory sets a historic precedent which we hope other workers will follow in demanding an end to outsourcing across the NHS.
Elia also stressed:
this is also a victory for patients. Study after study shows hospitals that outsource their ancillary staff have higher incidences of infections, including MRSA, and patient complaints are higher when it comes to hygiene and cleanliness. Cutting out profit hungry contractors will allow the Trust to put patient health and safety first.
One worker who helped to organise her colleagues, meanwhile, added:
Now I won’t have to choose between paying my rent and protecting my health. Striking was not an easy thing to do, but we’ve proven that by sticking together, and by having the support of the amazing union UVW, that workers can win for themselves and patients up and down the country.
Another worker told The Canary:
I am so happy, we have been fighting for this for a long time… now I know this is definitely the union for me.
Featured image via UVW (with permission)
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?