Sunday, September 03, 2006

Support Whipps Cross strikers

We all need to be focusing on how to build and develop our support for the strikers at Whipps Cross hospital who are on strike because their employer, Rentokil Initial is failing to honour an agreement. Initial had problems with cleaning at the Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust last year. Last year the company also avoided a takeover bid.

I also note, from a little research on the internet that this is an employer which knows that electronic campaigning can support workers’ rights. I found an article by Steve Davies in People Management, September 1998 (online here) which includes the following;

“At the CBI's Annual Dinner in May, Sir Clive Thompson, Chief Executive of Rentokil-Initial said: "a third party that comes between employer and employee can only interfere... and harm our drive for quality". On 15 June, FIET, the international union federation, launched an internet-based campaign against Rentokil-Initial, demanding it allow it's British employees representation on the company European Works Council. Two days later, the company contacted FIET to arrange talks which began on 1 July…

…Flying pickets may have disappeared but it looks as though cyberpickets are here to stay. Ask Rentokil-Initial.”

I am therefore very pleased that an earlier post on this blog was published by labourstart and is therefore now featured on the news page of the UNISON website. This arose from a number of lay UNISON activists in the London region agreeing to go along and express solidarity with the strikers.

So let’s get on with the solidarity! Send messages of support to the strikers’ union branch at donations (cheques payable to UNISON) to Chris Remington, Regional Head of Health, UNISON Greater London Region, Congress House, Great Russell Street. London WC1.

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