Friday, February 10, 2023

UNISON London Ambulance Service (LAS) Strike: Picket outside their Waterloo Headquarters 10.2.23


After work this evening I went to the UNISON picket line outside the LAS headquarters in Waterloo, Central London. I went to show solidarity and support on behalf of Greater London UNISON Regional Council officers and my own Housing Associations UNISON branch. 

It was yet another, well organised and well supported LAS picket. Congratulations to their Branch Secretary Eddie Brand, and their stewards and regional support staff including our Regional Secretary, Jo Galloway. The pickets were confident, knew what the battle was about and what to do on a picket line. 

I see also from other social media reports that some LAS pickets are tomorrow setting off as volunteers to Turkey to help out as paramedics with the dreadful recent earthquake.  Last year the branch helped organise a convoy to Ukraine to deliver much needed medical supplies and equipment. 

I have been on various picket lines in my time in the Labour Movement and the UNISON LAS are by far the best organised I have ever attended. 

Our ace UNISON Head of Health, Sara Gorton, gave short speech to the pickets thanking them for all they are doing to save our NHS.

Fellow London UNISON activists Anu Prashar and Abiola Kusoro were also there to show solidarity.

Just to point out that contrary to Tory lies and smears, for life and limb calls, pickets are volunteering with the full support of their stewards, to leave the picket line to attend, and I have witnessed this on many occasions during this strike.  Because it is an "operational" picket line, with emergency ambulances coming and going, the branch has to be careful of numbers of pickets and supporters to ensure safety. 

I came back home tonight feeling uplifted and proud of my union and our members.  

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