Car convoy supports UK Sonic Health workers

A protest in solidarity with Sonic Health workers in Britain, held in Sydney on June 10. Photo: May 1 Movement/Facebook

Ten vehicles joined a car convoy in the northern suburb of Macquarie Park on June 10 in solidarity with workers at Sonic Healthcare in Britain who were taking strike action after being targeted with the sack for standing up for their rights under the COVID-19 crisis.

Andrew Bilic, an organiser for the National Education Union United Kingdom, who joined the convoy told Green Left: “In the midst of the pandemic in the UK, the fact that Sonic Healthcare is making union activists redundant is an absolute disgrace. That’s why we have come out on the other side of the world to express our solidarity. If we stand together, we can win.”

The convoy was organised by the May 1 Movement, which has been a driving force behind seven car cavalcades in support of union rights.

The convoy circled Sonic Healthcare’s HQ in a show of solidarity, honking horns and chanting: “When workers’ rights are under attack, what do we do? Stand up, fight back!”

Unionists held at a short rally outside Sonic Healthcare, expressing solidarity with the British workers.

Sonic Healthcare is seeking to dismiss 10 couriers in London, including outspoken trade union activists who have criticised the company’s failings on health and safety. Having worked throughout this crisis transporting COVID-19 samples, these workers are now being thrown on the scrap heap.

One is the chair of the Couriers and Logistics Branch of the Independent Workers Union (IWGB ) of Great Britain, who has been has a high profile role in leading the battle against Sonic Healthcare. In the weeks before he was targeted for a redundancy, he raised multiple health and safety issues especially the company’s lack of personal protection equipment.

These couriers also led industrial action last year in which the IWGB won historic pay rises and improvements in the gig economy. The redundancies are a thinly-veiled assault on trade unionists.

[You can follow the May 1 Movement on Facebook.]