Nurses strike: RCN members at St Thomas’ Hospital in London
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Corbynites are heading to the picket lines today, as part of a furious attempt to persuade Sir Keir Starmer to fight harder for the workers involved. Members of the Labour campaign group Momentum, a Corbynite grassroots group, are joining the picket lines as nurses take part in their third round of industrial action today. Nurses are staging stoppages lasting up to 13 hours today and tomorrow, from 7.30am until 8.30pm.
The industrial action is taking place at 55 NHS trusts across England.
The RCN has demanded a 19 percent pay rise – five percent above inflation.
The demand has been dismissed as “unaffordable” by the Government.
Speaking about the upcoming walkouts, RCN General Secretary Pat Cullen said: “The Government had the opportunity to end this dispute before Christmas, but instead they have chosen to push nursing staff out into the cold again in January.
“I do not wish to prolong this dispute, but the Prime Minister has left us with no choice.
“The public support has been heart-warming and I am more convinced than ever that this is the right thing to do for patients and the future of the NHS.”
She added that the “voice of nursing will not be ignored” and that the “sooner ministers come to the negotiating table, the sooner this can be resolved”.
The Labour leader has been accused of not doing enough to support striking workers, as a wave of industrial action rocks the UK.
While he has opposed the Government’s new anti-strike legislation, he has not allowed his ministers to join striking workers on the picket lines.
Momentum, which is set to make an appearance on the picket lines later today, has been the subject of scrutiny recently as the group is reportedly facing serious financial challenges after the Labour party saw an exodus of leftwing members.
It has since launched a fundraiser, entitled “Keep Up Momentum”, appealing to members: “We can’t let everything we’ve built disappear.”
While the group primarily relies on individual donations, it also requires supporters to be members of the Labour Party.
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This has caused a knock-on effect on its funding, as thousands of left-wing members of the party have abandoned it since Keir Starmer became leader.
According to the Guardian, Momentum’s membership is down by a third from its peak when Jeremy Corbyn was the leader of the party.
An insider said the group’s financial situation is “serious, but not critical”.
But another source said the group wouldn’t “be able to continue to operate at the level we have been” unless more donations were found.
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