Tuesday, February 28, 2012

St Benedict's Hospital (Tooting) Occupation 1978-1980



23 arrested while defending St Benedict's Hospital

For 6 days in mid-September, St Benedict's Hospital..work-in was systematically and viciously raided by the Wandsworth,Sutton and East Merton Area Health Authority (AHA), backed by a large force of police and a scab private ambulance company, Junesco.

By September 19th, 63 patients had been Forcibly removed from the friendly security of their beds and wards and dispersed in chaos to a variety of other hospitals in the area.

The staff at St Benedicts began their official work-in:to prevent closure of their hospital on November 15th 1979. A very strong support committee was organised in the local community with backing from Battersea and Wandsworth Trades Council, local pensioners and others who wanted to maintain the high level of geriatric care at St Ben's. Local London Ambulance Service (LAS) ambulance drivers pledged their support and refused to cross the picket line except for normal transport.

IT WAS BECAUSE THE WORK-IN WAS SO SUCCESSFUL, that management (with the agreement of Patrick Jenkin, secretary of state for Health and Social Security) was forced to resort to intimidation, confrontation and violence to break the staff and campaign organisation, and force closure of the hospital.


1) To break the strength of the work-in, the AHA took legal action by serving injunctions against 8 leading members of the work-in' This included 4 staff members (from COHSE, NUPE and the RCN), 3 union officials (NUPE and COHSE) and 1 local campaigner.

This was to prevent those named from doing any thing to prevent the removal of patients and to prevent the union-officials from entering the building.

2) The police used the excuse of the new Employment Act to impose an arbitrary limit of 2 pickets only. Then on the fourth day of the raids, they refused to allow any pickets on the gate at all, and the private ambulances got through.

3) As a direct result of the raid, 23 pickets were arrested. The charges range from wilful obstruction to criminal damages. One woman who works in administration at a nearby hospital was suspended from duty, although she was at the picket line on her day off. (She is now waiting the outcome of an inquiry

St Benedict's campaigners calculate that fines arising from the charges may cost several thousand pounds.


34 patients remain at St Benedict's, and will probably remain there til November. Meanwhile the campaign against cuts, job loss and for decent health care for all continues, all over the country.




Battersea and Wandsworth, Trades Council
St Benedict's Defence Fund, 19 Oakland Rd., London SW11


Produced by FIGHTBACK (against health cuts) For St Benedict's Campaign
c/o Arthur Hautot, St Benedict's Hospital, London SW17

30 Camden Rd, London NW1


St Benedict's was occupied by staff against closure from
November 1978 until the raids in September 1980 and thus one of the longest running hospital occupations in Britain.

After the closure of the long stay geriatric hospitals, reports on the impact on patient care began to emerge labelled "relocation effects" it highlighted for the first time the impact of speedy
closures on patients. Close to a third of patients forcibly moved in the "raids" dying within the first six months.

Arthur Hautot was later a St James Hospital (Balham) COHSE Steward, husband of June Hautot (picture below)

June Hautot

Arthur Hautot (left)

Monday, February 27, 2012

1988 COHSE Nurses Special Duty Payments Campaign



London's low paid and dedicated nurses now face pay cuts of up to £40 per week(£2,000 per year) as a direct result of the Conservative Governments proposals to stop special duty payments and replace them with a fixed hourly rate of £1.20. This will affect all grades and all specialities and will surely lead to more nurses leaving the NHS, worsening the already horrific nursing shortage in London.


The Tory Governments proposals will mean the scrapping of special duty payments of 30 per cent extra for night nurses and the extra 60 percent payment for Sunday and holiday work leading to cuts in pay from 35p to £3.06 per hour for London's nurses.

COHSE- London's nursing union says enough is enough COHSE nurses demand pay justice in 1988. London's nurses will not sit and watch our profession undermined due to low pay - join the COHSE resistance.


1. Ending of Special Duty Payments and their replacement with a flat rate payment of £1.20 an hour for all night and weekend work.

2. Flat rate payments of 60p an hour for Stand-by Duty at place of work and just 30p an hour for On-call Duty.

3. A change to Excess Hours (overtime) payments.

4. No payment of Special Duty Allowances while attending any courses that lead to promotion or a change of post.

5. A Sleeping-in at work Allowance of 90p an hour.

6. A national agreement covering staff accompanying patients on holiday. This would entitle staff to 12 hours at plain time rates and 12 hours at Sleeping-in Allowance rates for each 24 hour period.









As a result of the campaign waged by COHSE and NUPE nurses Special duty Payments were saved.

Action by nurses and donor carers in the Blood Service, followed by industrial action in North Manchester put an end to the Conservatives plans to cut Special duty payments.

A campaign waged by COHSE (as part of the general 1988 nurses industrial Acton) to secure an increase in London weighting was also successful in 1988 securing the biggest increase every won.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Brief History of South Africian Nursing Trade Unionism

A Brief History of South African Nursing

By Moipone Tlapu NEHAWU Trade Union (July 2000)


The theme of the National League for Nursing National Co
nference on Nursing Education: "Community Building and Activism, "is a timely topic in this chaotic and changing world.

Even in South Africa, where confusion and violence often prevail, where there are many voices within liberation struggle. Nursing is part of this activism. The many voices create debate, and it is through this debate that South African people will be able to clarify their ideas.


The black nurses struggle in SA was subtle as most of the nurses are apathetic because they see themselves as being part of an elite profession isolated from community struggle. Nurses were unable to bring change in the communities in either health sector or society at large despite their numerical numbers / advantage some of the apathy, argument goes lies in the militaristic origins of Nursing as exemplified by the career of Florence Nighgtigale (Noixeba Lubanga) 1999.

The South African Nursing Organisation /Association where officials were predominately white, saw themselves as an exclusive group whose interest were identical with those of the ruling class and the government in power blacks had no power and influence on those who made the laws,and had no voting right. Nursing leaders in S.A. have actively discouraged Nurses from becoming politically involved and challenging the apartheid health care system. They have repeatedly involved notions of professional neutrality to justify this attitude. According to these leaders, the nurses professional image must be maintained at all cost despite any Social, economic and political changes.

Nurses should remain in the Nursing only Organisation so as don't mix with more progressive leaders from other professional world.

In 1920's African Women worked initially as domestics in South' Africans growing cities because they encountered the least resistance from men and women of other racial groups in this kind of work, and every white family aspires to have a servant, there was an ever growing demand. In Johannesburg and other centers, the
churches set up native girl's industrial schools, in which girls were taught the rudiments of housekeeping. By the 1920's female African domestic servants were becoming the most in Rand and other Urban Centres.


Black Nurses did not belong to the white^only S.A. trained Nurses Association (SATNA) which was founded in 1913. Realizing they could not belong to the SATNA, the African Nurses led by a graduate Nurse form Victoria hospital at Lovedale, decided as early as the 1920's to form their own Organisation, the Bantu Nurses
Association (BNA). In 1930, hospitals in around Johannesburg were training African Nurses, and the white Matron directors of Nursing) held meeting to discuss the feasibility of forming an association like BNA. Lowles (1933) P23 recalls how they decided it would be better to "lay emphasis upon the formation of wayfarer detachments (i.e Girl Scouts) than institute an association for black nurses instead the matrons emphasized the Witwatersrand branch of SANTA should elect a white Nurse to represent Bantu Nurses.

In 1932 after the black nurses struggle to convince "White Matron" to continue with Bantu Nurses Association there were finally allowed to affiliate with SATNA. In the early 1940's S.A. faced a severe Nursing crisis. Contributing factors were poor living conditions, low salaries, shortage of nurses, restriction on marri
ed nurses, and nurses leaving the profession. As a direct result of dissatisfaction with SATNA, BNA started a movement in 1942 to form a new organisation along trade union lines.

This organization convened a meeting in Re
d cross hall Johannesburg on the 30th August, 1942, with a view to organizing the Nursing Profession as a trade Union the main speaker was a representative form Garment workers Union, (GAWU) he stressed the fact that nurses were exploited by their employers, and many of the long suffering nurses immediately reacted favorably to this sympathetic technique (Nonceba Lubango 1991)

SATNA leadership together with the government joined forces to undertake a tour to address nurses on the subject of Trade unions. During this visits speakers warned Nurses that the political aura associated with unions was contrary to the spirit of Nursing (Searie 1965) (10 - incidentally this is still the believe today in the year 2000) what worried the government and SATNA leadership was the thought that Nurses might adopt a "trade union mentality" and might be persuaded to strike to improve their situation.

Following this the government gave 1943 Nursing Bill priority (Marks 1988). Origin 1988). The South African Act nO. 45 of 1944 followed. The South African Nursing Association (SANA) replaced SATNA. SANA was announced to be a compulsory body for all nurses with creation of SANA, BNA was effectively eliminated.
Even at that time there were those who contested the achievements of the ACT "origins (1988) noted that Charlotte Searie, then the Director of Nursing in Transvaal and already a dominant figure in SANA and founder of SANC was explicit on the reasons.

She argued that non European Nurses, Bantu/Blacks" were only included on equal basis in the 1944 Act at the time there were very few of them and because the Nurses were assured by the Provincial authorities responsible for hospital services that the authorities did not intend training black nurses for full certificates.


SANA developed a highly bureaucratic structure that stifled progress within the organisation. Nurses continued to express their discontent in the form of strike despite SANA constraints.

Blacks Nurses working at the Alexandra clinic in
Alexandra Township just outside Johannesburg went on strike in 1947. The Alexandra strike was prelude to others that followed.

In 1949, student Nurses at Victoria hospital Lovedale went on strike to protest the unfair dismissal of a nurse who had presented a petition of grievances to the hospital administration.

The kind of intimidation to which union minded Nurses were subjected was demonstrated in 1961 Nurses, strike at king George Tuberculosis hospital in Durban, the strike was called to protest an incident in which matrons of the Nurses, residence severely caned 12 students Nurses allegedly for arriving in class few minutes late. Skilled and unskilled hospital workers supported the nurse's demand for expulsion of matron.

With assistance from the local hospital workers union, the nurses made several demands.
They wanted the policy of unequal eating facilities abolish
ed. The African Nurses were given lower quality meals, were required to bring their own eating utensils, and paid more than whites for then- boarding and lodging. They also demanded raises in their scandalously low salaries. They demanded extension of maternity leave to unmarried pregnant women in order to prevent fatal illegal abortions. They wanted UIF, they demanded and end to the degrading practice that required African employee to make a cross when collecting their paychecks, instead of signing for them. Finally they demanded that African (Black) Nurses to receive the same prophylactic treatment against TB that was given to all other employee (Luckaardt and wall, 1980).

The Nurses received support from local and international communities. Some of their demands were met, but the hospital superintendent refuse to fire the matron. 22 nurses were fired, and nurses were threatened with dismissal if they belong to a union. Nursing authorities argued that trade unions could not act on behalf of nurses as that was the duty of SANA. Yet it took a trade union to help nurses to improve condition of service.


Internationally the struggle continued in 1946 the American Nurses Association established an economic security program for bargaining purposes. In England Royal College of Nursing is the professional association that won certification as independent trade union in 1977. British Nurses were also represented by trade unions that are affiliated with the trade union congress. According to Unison the struggle is been taken over by Unions such as Unison.

In Australia, Royal Australian Nursing Federal is affiliated with the Australian council of trade union.
In South Africa the 1978 Nursing amended ACT (no 50) made strike action by nurses a statutory offense with fines of up to R500, 00 one year jail or both (warning 1983).


The coming to power of National party in 1948 had a number of effects. On nursing black nurses had always been discriminated against for despite equal training, their salaries were far lower than those of whites and their training facilities were inferior. To foster apartheid 1957 Nursing Act of 1957 was passed separate registers were created for different ethnic groups namely Africans, Colored/Asians and whites black nurses were barred from holding office on central board of SANA (19 sutten, 1986). The pass system required blacks to carry at all times a "pass book" containing the person's identify and employment record. Failure to produce the "passbook" when requested by a police officer was a criminal offense.

Between 1955 and 1956 many Nurses joined the Women's league of ANC and the Federation of South African Women to fight "Pass Law" Protest meetings took place at many hospitals. At the meeting of non-white Nurses held in January 1955 at King Edward VIII hospital in Durban, tempers rose to such an extent that the police. Were called but women had quitted down the time the police arrived. The hospital superintendent than announced that the Nursing Council had informed him that all black Nurses who were not in possession of their identity numbers need not finance them' (South African Institute of Race Relation Survey, 1958-1959).

Now white nurses at Johannesburg's Baragwanath hospital also held protest meetings and announced that they would refuse to complete the forms the Federation of South African Women decide to support the Nurses and arrange a demonstration in support of Nurses.

The African townships were co-ordinated off from the hospital, roadblocks were setup. ANC Women's League and 500 Nurses organised a big demonstration at organises a big demonstration at Baragwanath hospital, where they met with hospital Matrons and explained the reasons for resisting the proposed legislation. The Matron wrote back to Nursing Council and the proposal was withdrawn for time being.

In 1978 Act provided for non-racial Nursing Council represent South African Citizens, this provision effectively excluded many registered African Nurses who, interms of S.A. Law were citizens of independent homelands. African Nurses actively opposed forced recognition into separate white Nurse's domination of SANA.

When these homeland nursing association were formed, the African Nurses who worked in the homelands or the so-called independent states received no financial assistance from SANA even though had been paying annual dues to this body for decades. Most Nurses paid the homeland association and the SANA for incase they need to work in S.A at some point.

In the 1980's the were many changes in spite of the legislation many nurses follow the waves of trade union activism. They joined union such as Black Health and Allied Workers union, the National Education and Allied Workers Union and Baragwanath workers union..

The question that remained unanswered is that do nurses need to be unionised, and to be poliicised Nurses, and especially Nurses leaders who regard political participation as alien to Nurses, and who regard politics and power to be incompatible to Nursing, sector and maintain a powerless nursing professional corps.

The government of National Unity has announced free health care for all mothers and children up to five years without consultation with those responsible for providing this health care-that, is Nurses and without adequate prior notification of health services nor the Nurses insisted on improved staffing of health facilities increased budgets and increased supplies of medicines. This "free health Services" whatever its merits in theory, might disempower and disillusions Nurses who are now called upon to render services to many more people, without the necessary staff, facilities, equipment, or drugs.

The only way, in which Nurses could prove their need for more staff, more equipment and more medicines would be to compile and present statistics of their workloads before and after this announcement was made. Unless Nurses can succeed in satisfactorily proving their increased workload, health-care planners will continue to assume that the services cope with the available facilities and equipment Nurses also need to communicate these statistics to positions and other decision makers.

Since politicians determine health care policies allocate health care budgets and decide where and when health care facilities will be expanded, they influence the health care system both directly and indirectly.


It is very important to develop new curriculum of training Nurses, the paradigm shift should focus, on content base education, in addition the Curriculum should cover politics and, also develop all-rounder Cadre, who might be able to fit in all spheres in life, to be orientated in all comers of life.

The broad aim of operation 4000 was to recruit professionals amongst those professionals to be organised Nurses cover a very big number NEHAWU has a serious challenges to develop Nurses and recruit more into the organisation.


CAPE TOWN June 18 1997 - SAPA


The now defunct South African Nursing Council - the regulatory body for the nursing profession under apartheid - on Wednesday apologised unreservedly for undermining human rights "from time to time".

In a submission to a Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearing in Cape Town, the SANC also proposed that appropriate reparation be made to victims of council violations. It did not elaborate.

Disgracefully, the British Royal College of Nursing (RCN) continued to foster close links with the 'Whites only" nursing union until the end of Apartheid. COHSE. NUPE and NALGO had impeccable records in opposing Apartheid South Africa

200 Nurses sacked in South Africa 1961

200 African Nurses Told To Leave Union or Be Sacked

September 1961 COHSE: the health care union Journal report

THE South African Congress of Trade Unions reports that 200 nurses at King George V Hospital,
Durban, have been given an ultimatum to resign from the Hospital Workers Union, a non-white body, or be dismissed.

Previously 20 nurses were sacked following a strike and meal boycott by African, Indian and coloured nurses at the hospital, in protest against the caning of nurses and very low wages (an African nurse receives about £12 a month, plus board and lodging; a labourer receives as little as £5 a month).

In the middle of July the Hospital Workers' Union, an affiliate of S.A.C.T.U., submitted a memorandum to the hospital authorities asking for increased wages and improved conditions of work. The demands ranged from £1 to £1 10s. a day increased wages; maternity allowance; unemployment pay; workmen's compensation; infectious disease allowance; 3 weeks' annual leave; improved food; shorter hours of work; recognition of the Union. (The demands varied according to the different categories of employees, staff nurses, maids, nurses, clerical workers, cooks, labourers, and so on.)

African nurses and labourers at the hospital decided to boycott food supplied to them on August 5, after the caning of 11 African nurses by a white sister-tutor because they were "not too bright at classes". The hospital was brought to a standstill when the African nurses marched to the superintendent demanding the expulsion of the sister-tutor and calling on him to investigate their grievances.

They were joined by Coloured and Indian nurses and all the non-white staff : labourers, clerical workers, cooks etc. The demonstration lasted about 8 hours, during which time hundreds of police were called out. the chief of police addressed the workers but was unable to persuade them to return to work.

The superintendent at last arrived, and after a great deal of argument agreed to investigate their grievances. He stated that he was not prepared to negotiate with the Union. The workers then returned to work, but the nurses living in the hospital started a boycott of their food and decided to continue this until their demands are met, food being supplied by sympathisers.

A second demonstration took place 10 days later when some 300 non-white nurses marched to the superintendent's office to demand the transfer of the sister-tutor from the nurses' home. Before this march took place, uniformed police patrolled all wards at the hospital and an armed contingent of police in a riot van was outside the hospital. The superintendent refused to see the nurses, and all the demands of the workers have been rejected on the grounds that they are "politically inspired".

The nurses are continuing the struggle. They ask for protests to be sent to the hospital authorities and for support for their demands, and also for donations. The address of the Hospital Workers' Union is 311 Lakhani Chambers, 2 Saville Street, Durban, South AfricaA. The Union will pass on all protests received.

It Should be noted that during this period the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) maintained links with the Whites only nursing union in South Africa



Sir—The following is a copy of a letter I sent to the Superintendent of King George V Hospital, Durban, South Africa, on November 16, 1961, after reading an account of events at the hospital in your Journal:

Sir—The P.S.I, is an international federation of trade unions and professional associations of civil servants and public employees, including nurses and other hospital workers. Its affiliated organisations number 75 and 37 countries throughout the Western world. The total membership is 2.4 million.

In the Journal of the British Confederation of Health Service Employees (issue of September/October 1961) I read an amazing and shocking story of the caning of nurses followed by a naturally justified rebellion by well nigh the whole staff of your hospital and by the irruption of the police into the hospital. This appears to be about the ugliest incident that, together with many others, illustrates the thoroughly bad relations between an employing authority and its workers. The relationship appears to be characterised by intimidation against organising in trade unions and the refusal to grant fair conditions of employment.

Words are inadequate to express the indignation that such action arouses in all people who value human rights and human dignity. I know that Apartheid interferes with the normal functioning of civilised life and I can visualise that in some instances employers lack the independence or the courage to resist a damnable policy imposed on them from above.

However, the administrator of a hospital is in a position- that enables him to wield authority and power in accordance with the dictates of conscience, even in opposition to higher authorities whom racial prejudice has made unreasonable.

The incidents of August 5 and 16 last provided copy for an unseemly page in the professional journals of nurses and hospital workers. It is in your power. Sir, to redress a bad situation and to enable the editors of those journals to report on something good and hopeful coming out of South Africa by virtue of your own action. I appeal to you to use your power to that effect.



(Picture Nurses protest apartheid and the segregation of their profession, South Africa, 1958

COHSE banner on Anti Apartheid demonstartion early 1980's

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sister: Alice Ingham - Killed In The Fall of Singapore 70 Years Ago


Service No: 213559

Nursing Sister: Alice Ann Ingham SRN, SCM was the daughter Thomas and Annie Ingham, of Outwood, Lancashire. Killed 14th February 1942 during the fall of Singapore to the Japanese during World War Two.

It is believed that Alice trained at Park Hospital, and after qualifying worked at Bolton Royal Infirmary. Alice also undertook her Midwifery training and was probably employed as a community midwife by Lancashire County Council, (where it is believed she became a member of NALGO now UNISON). At the outbreak of WWII she joined the Territorial Army Nursing Service.

After joining the Territorial Army Nursing Service, she was posted to Singapore and was working from at least 1940 at Alexander Hospital in Singapore.

Two days before Singapore fell to the Japanese Imperial Army, Alice was instructed along with 100-200 other nurses to evacuate Singapore on the small vessel (capacity 50 passengers) SS Kuala.

The vessel also had on board a further 500 mainly women and children fleeing the Japanese advance and imminent capture of Singapore.

As the boat attempted to escape Singapore, it was mercilessly bombed and machine gunned (as it tried to camouflage itself a day later off Pom Pong Island in the Rhio Archipelago).

Many of women were killed as they tried to swim to shore, by Japanese fighters who flew regular sorties to strife the survivors, those wearing life jackets were particularly vulnerable.

As many as 100-150 were killed in this cruel event and then further 200 (mainly women ,children and wounded) of the complement died when they were "rescued" from Pom Pong island. A few days later the survivors boarded the even smaller "SS Tanjong Pinang" which was sunk by the Japanese on its way to Sumatra, only six survivors from the “Tanjong Pinang”.
Those that survived this ordeal also faced many years imprisonment in barbaric Japanese concentration camps and many more of the survivors of the S.S Kuala lost their lives.

As for Sister Alice Ingham She was reported by a survivor as

“…not seen since taking to the water following the bombing of ship by any survivors…”

Undoubtedly, Sister Ingham
was a victim of Japanes estrafing of those survivors in the water and therefore she and many others killed were the victim of a War crime.

Sister Alice Ingham S.C.N. and S.C.M, aged 32 she was killed after the Japanese attack upon the SS Kuala 14th February 1942.

The record of those killed in this war time Japanese atrocity are not fully known, the confusion during the evacuation of Singapore and the Japanese indifference to the plight of the dead and survives do not allow us to complete a full list of those lost on the SS Kuala

M. E Gale TANS

Mary Gentles

Annie Gibson

A. Gideon

L. Harley TANS (died in concentration camp)

Agnes Harvey Murray QAIMNSR

Forothy Hirst

Marjorie Hodgson QAIMNS

Olive Hodgson (Australian nurse)

Fanny Holgate

Betty Hollande (Indian)

N. C. Hussy (Indian)

Approx 15 Indian Nursing Service nurses were killed in the Japanese atrocity

Alice Ingham name appeared on Lancashire County Council roll of honour erected at County Hall, Preston (see picture above)

Another nurse employed by Lancashire County Council who was killed in the Second World War and appears on the Roll of Honour for Lanacshire County Council employees, was Sister: Lillian Sarah Truman of the Territorial Army Nursing Service who died 10th October 1945 and is buried in Bologna War Cemetery .

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Greek hospital now under workers' control

Greek hospital now under workers' control


Greek hospital now under workers' control

Health workers in Kilkis, Greece, have occupied their local hospital and have issued a statement saying it is now fully under workers control.

The general hospital of Kilkis in Greece is now under workers control. The workers at the hospital have declared that the long-lasting problems of the National Health System (ESY) cannot be resolved.

The workers have responded to the regime’s acceleration of fascism by occupying the hospital and outing it under direct and complete control by the workers. All decisions will be made by a ‘workers general assembly’.

The hospital has stated that. “The government is not acquitted of its financial responsibilities, and if their demands are not met, they will turn to the local and wider community for support in every possible way to save the hospital defend free public healthcare, to overthrow the government and every neo-liberal policy.”

From the 6th February, hospital workers will only deal with emergencies until their wages, and monies owed have been paid. They are also demanding a return to wage levels prior to the implementation of austerity measures.

The next general assembly will take place on the 13th, and a related press conference will be given on the 15th.

The following statement has been issued by the workers:

1. We recognize that the current and enduring problems of Ε.Σ.Υ (the national health system) and related organizations cannot be solved with specific and isolated demands or demands serving our special interests, since these problems are a product of a more general anti-popular governmental policy and of the bold global neoliberalism.

2. We recognize, as well, that by insisting in the promotion of that kind of demands we essentially participate in the game of the ruthless authority. That authority which, in order to face its enemy - i.e. the people- weakened and fragmented, wishes to prevent the creation of a universal labour and popular front on a national and global level with common interests and demands against the social impoverishment that the authority's policies bring.

3. For this reason, we place our special interests inside a general framework of political and economic demands that are posed by a huge portion of the Greek people that today is under the most brutal capitalist attack; demands that in order to be fruitful must be promoted until the end in cooperation with the middle and lower classes of our society.

4. The only way to achieve this is to question, in action, not only its political legitimacy, but also the legality of the arbitrary authoritarian and anti-popular power and hierarchy which is moving towards totalitarianism with accelerating pace.

5. The workers at the General Hospital of Kilkis answer to this totalitarianism with democracy. We occupy the public hospital and put it under our direct and absolute control. The Γ.N. of Kilkis will henceforth be self-governed and the only legitimate means of administrative decision making will be the General Assembly of its workers.

6. The government is not released of its economic obligations of staffing and supplying the hospital, but if they continue to ignore these obligations, we will be forced to inform the public of this and ask the local government but most importantly the society to support us in any way possible for: (a) the survival of our hospital (b) the overall support of the right for public and free healthcare (c) the overthrow, through a common popular struggle, of the current government and any other neoliberal policy, no matter where it comes from (d) a deep and substantial democratization, that is, one that will have society, rather than a third party, responsible for making decisions for its own future.

7. The labour union of the Γ.N. of Kilkis will begin, from 6 February, the retention of work, serving only emergency incidents in our hospital until the complete payment for the hours worked, and the rise of our income to the levels it was before the arrival of the troika (EU-ECB-IMF). Meanwhile, knowing fully well what our social mission and moral obligations are, we will protect the health of the citizens that come to the hospital by providing free healthcare to those in need, accommodating and calling the government to finally accept its responsibilities, overcoming even in the last minute its immoderate social ruthlessness.

8. We decide that a new general assembly will take place, on Monday 13 February in the assembly hall of the new building of the hospital at 11 am, in order to decide the procedures that are needed to efficiently implement the occupation of the administrative services and to successfully realise the self-governance of the hospital, which will start from that day. The general assemblies will take place daily and will be the paramount instrument for decision making regarding the employees and the operation of the hospital.

We ask for the solidarity of the people and workers from all fields, the collaboration of all workers' unions and progressive organizations, as well as the support from any media organization that chooses to tell the truth. We are determined to continue until the traitors that sell out our country and our people leave. It's either them or us!
The above decisions will be made public through a news conference to which all the Mass Media (local and national) will be invited on Wednesday 15/2/2012 at 12.30. Our daily assemblies begin on 13 February. We will inform the citizens about every important event taking place in our hospital by means of news releases and conferences. Furthermore, we will use any means available to publicise these events in order to make this mobilization successful.

We call
a) Our fellow citizens to show solidarity to our effort,
b) Every unfairly treated citizen of our country in contestation and opposition, with actions, against his'/her's oppressors,
c) Our fellow workers from other hospitals to make similar decisions,
d) the employees in other fields of the public and private sector and the participants in labour and progressive organizations to act likewise, in order to help our mobilization take the form of a universal labour and popular resistance and uprising, until our final victory against the economic and political elite that today oppresses our country and the whole world.