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Embittered to the very core, UK junior doctors stage protests demanding pay restoration

By Harsh Thakor 

Junior doctors in England, like other workers of the National Health Service (NHS), are embittered to the very core, being victimised by low wages, overwork, and soaring inflation. Reflection of the overall crisis faced by the working class in Britain.
Approximately 60,000 junior doctors in the England have waged a strike for the second time this year. The 96-hour walkout began on Tuesday, April 11, demanding pay restoration. Junior doctors affiliated to the British Medical Association (BMA) marched in Trafalgar Square, London; on Tuesday will in all probability continue the strike and picketing outside hospitals till April 15.Expression of wrath was written all over the faces of the participants., who looked determined to wage a pitched battle.
The striking doctors are demanding a salary hike to compensate for the 26% cut, since 2008, in take-home wages for the highly qualified workforce. Doctors called on the Tory government to undertake negotiations to redress the grievances of doctors and hospitals which have remained obscurity for long.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak lashed out against undertaking any talks with the junior doctors until they call off the strike and relinquish their starting negotiating position for a 35% salary increase.
Junior doctors in the country, similar to plight of other workers of the National Health Service (NHS), have been embittered by of low wages, overwork, and soaring inflation. They had earlier waged a 72-hour –strike on March 13, demanding a 30% wage hike, when the government was unable to award adequate compensation for the fall in their real wages since 2008. They are also demanding investments in the NHS, which would pave way for tolerable working conditions bearable and tackle the exorbitant rates of burnout and emigration.
On April 12, British Medical Association (BMA) Chair of Council Professor Philip Banfield stated that “in the face of a constant refusal from the Health Secretary Steve Barclay to agree to further talks and put forward a credible offer which could bring an end to the dispute, we believe that working with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS) provides the most realistic chance of a successful outcome to the negotiations."
“We have always said we will get round the table for talks with Mr Barclay any time; a credible offer from him could result in strike action being called off, but despite months of trying, he remains seemingly intransigent and inflexible to all our attempts to reach a settlement.”
On April 11, Member of Parliament Jeremy Corbyn expressed his solidarity with the junior doctors, “when you stand by striking healthcare workers, you stand up for the future of our NHS.”
A perfect illustration of the extent to which a crisis has plagued conditions of doctors the National Health Service, which is being aggravated day by day by the capitalist social order. Positive to witness the relentless spirit of the junior doctors to battle injustice. of the social system. Reflection of the worsening economic crisis, perpetuating inequality. In coming days we are likely to witness battle of attrition.
Harsh Thakor is a Freelance journalist Thanks Peoples Dispatch for information



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