Thousands of blood service workers rallied across the UK on June 15th to protest against a multi-million pound cut in the service. The planned cuts will mean the loss of 800 jobs and the closure of nine out of the twelve regional blood centres serving England and north Wales over the next two years.
This was the third such lunchtime protest against the slashing of this life-saving service. But Unison head of health Karen Jennings said that “This demonstration may well be the last before moving to a ballot of members on industrial action.”
Members of Unison, the GMB, Unite, and the RCN have expressed concerns that the blood service will be tipped into crisis by the cuts, with many lives put at risk. But management plough on with their plans regardless.
So far unions have failed to co-ordinate meaningful industrial action against the government's sweeping attacks on the NHS. The blood service is just another site of struggle where workers must strike to defend their jobs and patient care.