Strike against privatisation13th September 2006
NHS workers have decided to stage the first national strike in the health service since 1988, which will mean that Hospitals and GP surgeries face shortages of key medical equipment.
Unison has announced that its members at NHS Logistics have voted by 74 per cent to strike over the £1.6 billion sale of their network to the German haulage firm DHL. From 1 October, DHL will supply everything from stationery to MRI scanners in hospitals throughout England.
DHL, originally know as a parcel delivery firm, has evolved into a company that is involved in logistics and supply chain work on behalf of organisations across the world. Its contract with the NHS is part of its DHL Exel logistics division, which was formed in 2005.
Unison's general secretary, Dave Prentis, announced the result of the postal ballot at the TUC Congress, with the first strikes to take place before or during the Labour Party conference in Manchester, though it is still to be decided what form the strikes will take.
Prolonged strikes would mean hospitals quickly running out of bulky equipment such as bedpans which were hard to stockpile said Unison.
Mr Prentis said the decision to award the 10-year contract 'would turn the clock back 20 years' with hospitals needing huge storage areas to cope with bulk buying.
The 1,400 workers will be protected Under rules laid down to protect former public service workers after privatisation, but the unions fear that in the long run their pay and conditions will not match those in the NHS.
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