Sainsbury’s trying something new today: privatising the NHS!
As part of the break up of the NHS under the Coalition government’s Lansley Plan more and more of NHS services are being handed over to privateers. Members of the Unite union at St Thomas’, King’s and Guy’s Hospitals discovered that the preferred provider for privatised dispensing pharmacy services in the Trust is none other than Sainsbury’s.
Local Unite members, together with a broad coalition of pressure groups opposed to the break-up of the NHS, have been demonstrating outside branches of Sainsbury’s close to the three London hospitals where they have tendered for services, first near Borough and then at Waterloo. Shoppers were shocked to find out Sainsbury’s was trying to muscle in on NHS privatisation and many signed the petition organised by Unite members.
Many parts of NHS hospitals are already becoming like privatised shopping malls. Now, these retail multi-nationals are moving in on services traditionally delivered by NHS staff. Sainsbury’s, for one, has a reputation for paying its staff lousy wages. Last year, Unite ran a campaign “Try something new – pay a living wage”, exposing the fact that, for several years, Sainsbury’s had given less than inflation pay rises effectively cutting staff pay. Meanwhile profits were soaring and the Chief Executive, Justin King, took home over £3.2 million in pay and bonuses for 2010/11 alone. Now they want to increase their profits again by leeching off the NHS
Further pickets and actions are planned around local Sainsbury’s.
Watch this site for details of future protests.