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Protestors gathered outside Harrogate District Hospital against the transfer of 340 staff to a ‘Wholly Owned Subsidiary’ – photo Iain Dalton

Over the course of around an hour and a half over 50 people joined the protest in snowy weather outside Harrogate Hospital against the forced transfer of 340 staff to a ‘Wholly Owned Subsidiary’ on Thursday 1st March.

Iain Dalton, Socialist Party North Yorkshire Organiser

Alongside Socialist Party and Labour Party members and Unison officials, different sections of staff, including nurses and clerks unaffected by the proposals came out to join the protest on their lunch breaks.

Harrogate, is one of a number of hospital trusts in Yorkshire that is pushing ahead with transferring estates and facilities staff (such as catering, domestics, porters etc) into private companies they have set up (referred to variably as Wholly Owned Subsidiaries or Special Purpose Vehicles).

Barnsley has already gone down this path, and made attacks on the terms and conditions of staff in this company, whilst Airedale trust was due to transfer it’s staff on the 1st March as well, with proposals not far behind in Huddersfield and Calderdale, as well as York NHS Trusts.

3,000 people have signed an online petition against the proposals set up by Corbyn supporters in Harrogate Labour Party, whilst staff voted by 97% to reject the proposals in a consultative ballot and are now balloting for strike action.