Unite's Health National Industrial Sector Committee has voted for their union to call a national demonstration in defence of our health service.
This decision follows a wave of massive protests, including 25,000 marching recently in Lewisham, south East London, against health cuts.
Jerry Hicks the Rank and file member candidate challenging Len McCluskey in the election for Unite General Secretary said “this is absolutely brilliant, the vote will give heart to everyone who wants to fight to stop the destruction of our NHS”.
He added “this decision highlights the willingness of Unite members in health to fight to defend the NHS at a time when the union is fighting against attacks on ‘agenda for change’, and while our members are leading the resistance to the South West pay cartel”.
He was also keen to stress the need for urgency "We haven't a moment to lose. The NHS is the jewel in the crown of the post war welfare state. The Con-Dems, led by the Tories want to privatise that service and it's working people who will pay the price, just as we are paying the price for the banking crisis”.
Jerry Hicks believes that sometimes you just have to judge what is right over wrong despite what the law may state, saying “The first strike action I ever took was in support of the NHS, since then due to anti-union laws brought in by the Tories under Thatcher, left unchanged by Labour Government that would be called ‘secondary action’. But attacking the NHS doesn’t just affect those that work in it, it affects everyone. I say that makes it legitimate for everyone to act to support it. Let's take to the streets to save our NHS”.
Notes to Editor:
Unite is the biggest union in the UK with 1.5 million members.
Unite is currently holding an election for its General Secretary, in which there are only two candidates, Jerry Hicks and Len McCluskey.
Jerry Hicks was runner up in Unites General Secretary election of 2010 beating two Assistant General Secretaries and securing 52,527 votes.