Winning in Wigan - unionstogether

Winning in Wigan

Last week, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh Foundation Trust dropped plans to transfer more than 900 workers - including porters, cleaners and catering staff - to NHS subsidiary firm. This was a great victory for striking workers, who won this dispute through the strength of their industrial action. Yet that action was supported every step of the way by sustained political pressure from across the Labour Party.

Labour and Trade Unions, coming together to win for workers and our NHS.

The plans to move staff to the new company has been the subject of a long-running campaign and dispute led by UNISON and with industrial action too from our sister union Unite. Local Labour MPs Lisa Nandy, Jo Platt and Yvonne Fovargue, Councillors and party activists rallied in support of staff determined to stay part of our National Health Service. Jeremy Corbyn and Jon Ashworth both took time to send messages of support too, and a deal was finally brokered by a decisive and timely intervention from Labour-led Wigan Council.

We are pleased that the Trust has found an alternative to outsourcing to an arms length trading company. The decision will allow the trust to retain experienced staff who will remain as a permanent part of the NHS team. It is fitting that this decision was made in the 70th birthday week for the NHS. It is a tribute to the commitment and dedication of workers represented by UNISON. They now have the assurance that all parts of the service are valued as part of one team working for their patients.

This victory shows what the party and affiliated unions can do when working together. Long may it continue.

Dave Prentis is General Secretary of Unison

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