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Behind the scenes, the union and management had been meeting in a desperate bid to get the strike called off and agree a negotiated settlement—preserving the position of the union bureaucracy as an industrial police force.
“The suspensions [of the transfers] shows that strikes that are longer than one-day have the power to make bosses think twice,” they write.
“They [the hospital trust] would not have backed off if workers hadn’t struck for three weeks in July and August and then threatened an indefinite walkout.”The piece concludes, “Bradford bosses might try to use this period to break the momentum of the workers’ action.
Workers must implement their vote to strike and turn to other health workers in Bradford and throughout the UK, who are facing the same fight to defend their wages, terms and conditions in opposition gutting and privatisation of the NHS.
These opinions are subject to motions for reconsideration pursuant to Rule 14(b) of the Maine Rules of Appellate Procedure, and to revision and correction before final publication.
Then in a 180-degree about turn, it responds to management “concerns about a two-tier workforce” that would emerge following the union proposal with the cynical statement, “If the Trust is sincere as regards its intentions on terms and conditions, I would suggest this should be more of a worry to Unison.”The only “worry” for Unison is not its members’ jobs in any WOS—abandoning all talk of “backdoor privatisation” and extolling the “potential income streams” such a set up might generate—but that it retain its seat at the negotiating table, “to allow for proper ways to resolve the dispute.”To make sure this proceeds smoothly, Unison promises a “significant pause…
with a suspension of industrial action.”The Socialist Equality Party intervened in the dispute, warning workers on the picket lines that such an outcome was being cooked up by the unions.
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The latest sell-out in Bradford could not have proceeded without the wretched support extended to the bureaucracy by the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), Socialist Party (SP) and other pseudo-left outfits, who all wrote glowing articles about the “fightback” being organised by Unison.
At the beginning of the dispute in July, the SP wrote, “That Unison is taking sustained action also encouraged non-union members to join the strike with several previously unorganised workers on the picket lines.” It wrote breathlessly on August 14 that “Unison should mobilise its membership and the wider trade union movement, particularly in the NHS, to a national demonstration in Bradford in support of the strike on the first or second Saturday of all out strike action.”Two days before the strike was called off, the SP’s National Shop Stewards Network (NSSN)—a front for sections of the trade union bureaucracy to masquerade as “building the rank and file”—wrote, “The determination of the strikers must now be matched by drawing the might of the wider labour movement into this battle…”Without saying anything about the content of the rotten deal agreed by Unison, the SP/NSSN’s Rob Williams then posted up on Facebook links to BBC and local newspaper articles announcing that the strike has been called off.
They must not stand by as Unison demobilises their struggle.