Update Medirest Ealing Hospital workers strike, 20th of March 2014

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AngryWorkersWorld
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Mar 20 2014 11:56
Update Medirest Ealing Hospital workers strike, 20th of March 2014

Today was the last day of a 7-day strike. Southall MP had visited in the morning and promised to launch an official inquiry whether all the recently hired 'scabs' employed at Ealing hospital had proper training. Medirest management still does not move or show inclination to 'talk things over'. Some of the 'leader' workers said that they will continue the strike actions, partly because they hope that Medirest will lose the contract at Ealing Hospital and that they will be taken either back on as NHS workers or with better terms on conditions by the new contractor. The whole situation becomes more complicated, given that Ealing Hospital itself is in the focus of cuts. There will be a public meeting by Save the NHS kind of folks at Ealing Town Hall on the 26th of March, 7:30 pm, speakers include Labour Party politicians, you can imagine the limitations of this event. While SWP people at the strike round-about at Ealing Hospital suggest an 'escalation' of the strike (longer strikes) and ask workers to go to various trade union branch meetings to collect money for a prolonged conflict, we were less sure if under current conditions a mere 'escalation' would help. rather the strike will have to become more effective and workers would have to stir up other Compass workers working all over London and the UK. That's easier said than done, therefore our leaflet we distributed amongst Medirest workers today is less 'agitating', but reflective...

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Thoughts on the Medirest Ealing Hospital strike from some supporters

After seven days of strike we have to see what the result is. Medirest management will either have felt the pressure of the strike and agree to improve conditions or not. If not then we have to think about how to increase the pressure.

The strike itself is the most important activity and the unity amongst you, at least so it seemed from the outside, was great! What you are doing is something that a lot of other workers on minimum or low wages don't think is possible. You have to let as many other workers as possible know about your struggle: neighbours, supermarket workers or wherever else you meet them.

The strike is effective if Medirest management is not able to bring in workers from other hospitals or hire new people on short-term contracts. For future strike actions we have to plan in advance to go to all those hospitals BEFORE the strike and talk to Medirest workers there. This is an extra effort, but it seems necessary.

The other way to put more pressure on management in future, during strike or also when there is no strike on, is to go to places where the Compass Group does catering and other jobs. If you would go in a group of ten or twenty to places like Wembly Arena, FC Chelsea stadium or Queen Elizabeth Conference Hall and have a demo there, speaking to Compass workers and 'the public' you could increase pressure on Medirest management. Check the Compass Group website, they have contracts at many places.

Discuss together what you could do as a group, on strike or off strike, in order to spread the word of your struggle and to let Medirest management feel that you can trouble their business at various places.

Your struggle gave us hope that something can be done together, that workers can resist and create something new and better!

We meet regularly with other workers in Greenford and Acton area:

www.workerswildwest.wordpress.com

Let's keep in touch and support each other in the future!

angryworkersworld@gmail.com