Campaigning against the government’s privatisation agenda

A Swindon TUC Open Meeting

Swindon Trades Union Council – Media Release October 12th 2006
Wed November 1st
7.30 p.m.
Broadgreen Centre, Salisbury Rd (off of Manchester Rd)

The November meeting of Swindon TUC will be an open meeting on the above theme. The Blair/Brown government is comprised of ‘free market fundamentalists’. They have opened up the public sector to exploitation by big business despite the evidence that it has had disastrous consequences, both for the workers and the service users.

The recent Labour conference , for the third year running, passed a resolution opposing government policy of privatising council housing, and demanded the right of councils to direct investment, including building new council houses. But the government contemptuously ignores the decisions of its own party conference.

It’s policy in the health service has been to create a ‘market’ in healthcare. It’s a rigged ‘market’ though because the government has instructed PCT’s to hand over work to the private sector, with no competition, taking money away from the NHS. The contracts for this work are also rigged. Whilst NHS hospitals are being penalised for doing ‘too much’ work, private companies are being paid for operations they have not carried out!

Locally, Swindon’s Great Western Hospital is having some of its audiology work handed over to a private company, and a private hospital will be given imaging work (MRI scans etc).

Swindon’s Tory Council is carrying out New Labour policy by proposing to create a private Academy run by a religious organisation and Honda. It is threatening to privatise council services in the pursuance of its (and the Blair government’s ) dogma.

The government has also opened the postal market up to competition, threatening the universal service obligation by which we have a standard price however far a letter has to travel. Royal Mail is making cuts in service so as to ‘shape up’ to the new market.

Speaking at the meeting will be John McDonnell the left wing Labour MP who has declared he will stand for leader of the Labour Party against the privatiser Gordon Brown. John has played a key role in drawing together the trades unions to campaign against privatisation across the public sector. (see http://www.john4leader.org.uk/ )

Also speaking will be Dave Warren a member of the CWU national executive committee, the union covering Royal Mail and the Telecomms industry.

For further information ring Martin Wicks, STUC Secretary on 07786 394593

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