Unison outlines NHS Logistics strike

15-09-2006

Health sector union Unison has confirmed that around 900 union members are to go on strike in protest at the "destructive" transfer of NHS Logistics to German firm DHL.

Unison's head of health, Karen Jennings, told the Today programme this morning that provisional plans existed for an initial "all out" first day of strikes, followed by a "rolling programme" of industrial action later this month.

Unison's objections to the sale of NHS Logistics are fundamental to one of the key objections to government policy voiced by unions at this week's Trades Union Congress (TUC) conference in Brighton.

TUC members believe that the government is privatising parts of the NHS by selling sections off to external firms. NHS Logistics was sold for £3.7 billion, according to the Unison website.

"It's very important that the staff, who have built NHS Logistics up to what is an award-winning service and by everybody's standards is seen to be one of the best delivery services that we have, and very, very applauded and supported by all staff, gets the opportunity to express its great sadness and its anger about what is happening," Ms Jennings said.

She added that proceedings had been issued for a judicial review later this month, but agreed that "we're up against time" because DHL are due to take over in October.

Ms Jennings confirmed that an employer had to be given seven days warning of any strike action and that the unions would determine today the precise days during September on which industrial action would be taken.

She said that the unions intended to ensure the plans were "responsible" and that they would discuss emergency cover with employers.


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