About IWW NBS

The National Blood Service performs a vital role in collecting blood from donors at hundreds of sites on a daily basis. The blood is then processed (filtering, separating components etc.) and safely tested (for Hepatitis, HIV, Malaria, Syphilis and soon vCJD). Blood and plasma is then distributed to local hospitals. These processing and testing centres are currently located in Oxford, Bristol, Southampton, Tooting, Colindale, Brentwood, Manchester Birmingham, Liverpool, Newcastle, Cambridge, Sheffield and Leeds.

National Blood Service staff have been in industrial dispute with the NBS board of directors/management for the past year, over unworkable reconfiguration plans which will see local processing and testing sites condensed into just 3 ‘supercentres’, in Bristol, Manchester and Colindale. This would mean that blood collections will have to be driven hundreds of miles around the country to and from the ‘supercentres’, putting even more reliance on an already overloaded and frequently clogged up motorway network. It will also mean 600 job losses nationally, and those affected have highly specific skills and years of experience. This strategy is all about cost-cutting, and nothing to do with whats best for patients or hospitals. All this in the national Blood Service that, unlike many NHS trusts, is not even in debt.

The IWW is strongly opposed to any cuts. We have been active in the campaign to oppose the cuts. We have a presence in the National Blood Service, and as a fighting union for all workers we will oppose the cuts all the way, and support staff however they choose to proceed in the campaign. We are controlled by our members. We have no affiliations to any political party, and we will fight tooth and nail for our members. The IWW is the union of choice for healthcare workers of all kinds, in the National Blood Service and in hospitals, care centres, GP surgeries, clinics, advice centres and anywhere else where healthcare workers are looking for union protection.

The IWW has an active and growing branch at one of the main processing centres, and other members around the country. We will be there with and for NBS workers, and we will be there for NBS staff, all the way, until we win the current campaign (and we will!) and afterwards.

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