Unite members employed by the private contractor Serco, working at Barts Health NHS Trust, have overwhelmingly voted to strike for a proper pay rise.
99 per cent of workers that took part in the ballot voted yes to strike action. Workers are now planning a three day strike starting on Tuesday 4 July, followed by a seven day stoppage starting on Tuesday 11 July and then a 14 day strike starting on 25 July. Further strike action will also be planned for August and September.
Gloria Sindall, Unite regional officer said: “Low paid cleaners, porters and security staff have voted for strike action by a massive majority because they have seen their real living standards drop year on year. Workers are now demanding a 30p per hour wage increase. Serco made over £80 million in profit last year but managers are refusing to share these earnings fairly and protect the living standards of the workers.
“Unite members are fed up and are preparing for a series of strikes to demand a fair and proper pay rise which recognises the contribution they make to Serco and to Barts.”
Serco won the £600 million soft services contract for Barts Health NHS Trust last year. The company made a profit of £82 million, and pays its chief executive over £1 million a year. Unite members employed by Serco as domestic staff, porters and security workers at Barts Health NHS Trust want a 30p per hour wage increase but the claim has been rejected by Serco.
Workers also called for a strike ballot because porters at Whipps Cross Hospital are up in arms over Serco’s plans to cut jobs, and to make matters worse Serco has also increased workloads to unsustainable levels for cleaners across the Trust.
Notes to editors
Unite members were balloted across Whipps Cross University Hospital, Royal London Hospital, St Bartholomew’s Hospital and Mile End Hospital (Newham Hospital is not involved in the strike). Serco posted profits of more than £82 million for 2016 and its contract to provide services to Barts Health NHS Trust is worth £600 million.
For more information please contact Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.