GREAT BRITAIN 100 labour movement activists address Prime Minister Boris Johnson about India: « Release the rights on vaccine patents and arrange immediately the necessary transfers of technology to enable India to manufacture the vaccines they need »

Open letter to Boris Johnson 

Dear Prime Minister, 

The news received from Indian trade unionists is absolutely appalling. The whole world is witnessing a real tragedy in India. 

Every day, the number of people infected with Covid-19 is increasing. Whoever gets a bed in hospital is considered lucky. The death-toll is soaring because of the lack of hospital beds, medicines and oxygen. The health system has collapsed; there are not enough doctors and paramedics to cope with the growing demand. 

India is regarded as the « pharmacy of the world », and a large proportion of the generic drugs used worldwide are produced in India. But today, the Indian population has no access to vaccines, to the most essential medicines, or even to oxygen. 

There is no doubt that the Modi government is responsible. 

But your government also bears responsibility, when we know that for months you have – in agreement with a number of governments including the US administration – blocked any proposal at the World Trade Organisation to place the vaccine patents in the public domain, evidently in order to protect the huge profits of the big pharmaceutical firms. 

Prime Minister, we demand that the British government immediately takes all legal and technical measures to ensure that not only are British vaccine patents placed in the public domain, but that the necessary transfers of technology to enable India to manufacture vaccines are arranged without delay. 

The lives of millions of people are at stake. 

First signatories 


Bakers, Food and Allied Workers Union (BFAWU); Liverpool Unite NW 567 Community Branch; Rochdale Metropolitan Borough TUC; Islington TUC; King’s Lynn & District TUC 

Individuals (personal capacity) 

Sarah Woodley, General Secretary BFAWU; Ian Hodson, National President BFAWU; Steve Hedley, Assistant General Secretary RMT; Carlo Morelli, President, UCU Scotland; Jane Doolan, UNISON NEC; Paul Holmes, UNISON NEC; Dan Sartin, UNISON NEC; Andrea Egan, UNISON NEC and Bolton branch; Alan Gibson, NUJ NEC; Steve Jones, CWU NEC and Tottenham CLP London; John McInally, former Vice-President, PCS; Paul Busby, Secretary, North Yorkshire NEU; John Hendy QC; James Parker, Secretary, Berkshire County Association of Trades Councils and Unite Community BOB branch; Stephen Hall, President, Greater Manchester Association of Trades Union Councils; Stefan Cholewka, Secretary, GMATUC; George Binette, Chair, Camden TUC; Mick Gilgunn, Chair, Islington TUC; Ray Barkley, Secretary, Slough Unite SE/6235 and Treasurer, Slough TUC; Nick Williams, Unite Community and Secretary, Wisbech, March & District TUC; Mike Arnott, Secretary, Dundee TUC; Nina Hammill, Secretary, Crewe & District TUC; Steve Murphy, Secretary, Knowsley TUC; Jo Rust, Secretary, King’s Lynn & District TUC, independent borough councillor for Springwood ward on King’s Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council; Margaret K. Taylor, Treasurer, Rochdale Metropolitan Borough TUC; Nigel Johnson, PCS delegate to Bridgwater TUC; Sam Gipson, King’s Lynn & District TUC; John Hunt, King’s Lynn & District TUC; Dave Dennis, King’s Lynn & District TUC; Ian Barton, King’s Lynn & District TUC; Linda Cox, King’s Lynn & District TUC; David Cox, King’s Lynn & District TUC; Fabia Pollard, King’s Lynn & District TUC; Fiona Monkman, Chair, Islington UNISON; Mike Calvert, Deputy Branch Secretary, Islington UNISON; Diana James, Assistant Secretary, Islington UNISON; Gassimu Jah Black, Members Secretary, Islington UNISON; Jenny Cooper, Brent District Joint Secretary, NEU; Kevin Ward, UNISON officer, Middlesex University; Phil Lewis, Chair of London Hazards & Workstress Steering Group, Camden UNISON Health & Safety Officer; Sean Fox, Joint Branch Secretary, Haringey UNISON; Mark Carter, Secretary, Dorset Rail RMT; Mark Hollinrake, PCS DWP Filestores Branch Organiser and shop steward; Vince Mills, Chair, West of Scotland Education Branch, Unite; Dr Sophia Lycouris UCU Equalities Officer, University of Edinburgh; Mark Gillan, EIS-FELA Deputy Branch Secretary; Jim Philp, Secretary, Fife & District Branch RMT; Patrick Murphy, District and Branch Secretary, Leeds NEU; Dania Thomas, Equalities Representative, UCU University of Glasgow; Ken Muller, Press Officer, Islington NEU; Bobby Haddock, Secretary, Islington Unite and works convener repairs service; Rajmil Fischman, UCU, Keele University branch; Councillor Noah Tucker, Labour Councillor, London Borough of Haringey; Councillior Dr James Chiriyankadanth, Labour Councillor, London Borough of Haringey; Cllr Richard Foote, London Borough of Hounslow; Councillor Alan Gibbons, Liverpool City Council and Secretary, Liverpool Walton CLP; Antony Rimmer, Liverpool 47 surcharged Councillor, socialist and trade unionist; Doreen McNally, Liverpool Unite NW567 Community Branch; Sue Dockett, UNISON (retired) and Wisbech, March & District TUC; Nick Phillips, Unite the Union, London; Paul Filby, Liverpool Wavertree CLP; Charles Charalambous, Unite and Labour Party member, Editor, Labour Internationalist; Julia Ayache, Nottingham; Michael Loughlin, Liverpool; Prof Richard Seaford, University of Exeter; Raphael Salkie, Emeritus Professor, University of Brighton and UCU member; Dr Hannah Wilkinson, Lecturer in Criminology, School of Social, Political and Global Studies, Keele University; Prof Susan Michie, FAcSS, FMedSci, University College London; Michael Edwards, Hon Prof UCL, UCU member; Robert West, Professor Emeritus of Health Psychology, Institute of Epidemiology and Healthcare, University College London; Dr Ghazala Mir, Associate Professor of Health Equity and Inclusion, University of Leeds; John Sweeney, London Labour Party and trade union activist, Chair of Workers Against the EU; Annie McDonald, Harringey ward Chair, Tottenham CLP, London; Kishore Kukendrarajah, Tottenham CLP. London; Paul Lesley; Avril Baker, Stroud Green LP branch, Hornsey and Wood Green CLP; Keith Dobie, Haringey & Barnet Unite Community; Shiraz Durrani, Tottenham CLP; Mumtaz Khan, Haringey & Barnet Unite Community Branch; Chris Clarke, Hornsey and Wood Green CLP; Prof Emeritus John Pinkerton, Child & Family Social Work, Queen’s University Belfast; Peter Durrant, Unite Community and King’s Lynn TUC; Mike Hodges, Tottenham CLP; Briony Densham, Islington UNISON; Dr Nat Queen, University of Birmingham and UCU member; Joanna Bornat, Haringey & Barnet Unite Community; Nick Davidson, Haringey & Barnet Unite Community; Steve Ballard, Haringey & Barnet Unite Community; Phil Rose, Haringey & Barnet Unite Community; Richard Gill, Islington UNISON; Mark Still, RMT; Roger Silverman, Newham Socialist Labour; Laura Mulvey, Birkbeck College and UCU; Dianne Foulkes, Keele UCU Branch employee; Lesley Mahmood, Save Liverpool Women’s Hospital; Steve McKenzie, Unite; Julia Simpkins, Bolton NEU; Ailsa Naumann, UNISON Oxford University and College Branch; Celia Dignan,Hornsey & Wood Green CLP; Florence Hill, Bolton UNISON (retired); Geoff Jelly, UNISON (retired); Dr Josephine Berry, Goldsmiths, University of London; John Snelling, UNISON (retired); Liz Brennan, Cambridge City & South Cambs UNISON; Marika Smith, Unite (retired); Ali Miles, Unite Community, Camberwell & Peckham CLP; Jacqui Brown, UNISON (retired);