From the TUC

Unions worldwide step up support for the NHS

02 Mar 2012, By

We’ve been getting more messages of support for our rally to save the NHS on 7 March from around the world. The Australian, Italian, Japanese, Nigerian and Ugandan trade union movements have expressed their admiration for the NHS and their incredulity at the attacks on it from the British Government.

Ged Kearney, President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, and a former nurses’ union leader, said:

“On behalf of all Australian unions we extend our solidarity and full support for the TUC campaign against the Health and Social Care Bill. The ideological presumption that competition and market solutions will deliver a better national health system is wrong. In that direction lies fragmentation, lower standards, inferior quality care, poorer training, erosion of terms and conditions of employment, and ultimately – as the US system demonstrates – higher costs and profound inequity where access to care depends on private wealth. We wish you every success in this important struggle.”

Susanna Camusso, General Secretary of the CGIL in Italy, said:

“The CGIL expresses its solidarity and support to NHS workers and to the TUC for the rally on 7 March to protest against the ‘reforms’ which entail the privatisation of the NHS. Your mobilisation joins those foreseen throughout Europe in response to austerity measures to cut public services. These policies will only have the effect of making citizens and workers even more poor and deprive them of social protection. For these reasons, while wishing you every success in your initiative, we are confident that the TUC will make its voice heard to the Government so that he Bill is rejected or radically changed.”

Japanese trade union movement Rengo, one of the four most powerful trade union movements in the world, said:

“On behalf of 6.8 million members of the Japanese Trade Union Confederation, I would like to express our heartfelt solidarity to brothers and sisters who are standing up to defend the NHS.  Social protection is very essential for people to feel secure in their lives, the NHS is one of these vital services. The government should listen to the workers. Your struggle is our struggle. We hope for the rally to be successful.”

Nigerian Labour Congress President Abdulwaheed Omar declared:

“On behalf of Nigerian workers, I bring you comradely greetings from the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).The NLC strongly supports the Trades Union Congress UK and all the unions representing hundreds of  thousands of healthcare professionals and workers from across the NHS as they rally against the current Health and Social Care Bill which is very unpopular.”

And our colleagues in the Ugandan National Organisation of Trade Unions sent us this message:

“The leadership of National Organisation of Trade Unions and the labour  movement fraternity of Uganda, wish to extend their courage and solidarity to the trade unions of London and workers  of UK especially in Health Service Sector for the steps taken to put pressure on government  to revisit the Bill on Health and Social care. We encourage the union leadership and worker to stand firm for their cause and remain united, because that is the only way to achieve their demands. I therefore ask Government of United Kingdom and Parliament to listen to the leadership of the unions and the workers’ demand and provide space for dialogue. Solidarity forever. United we stand. Divided we fall.”