Shadow Chancellor to address health workers fighting a...

Shadow Chancellor to address health workers fighting against low pay across four London hospitals

13 July 2017

What: Rally and march in support of Serco workers on strike
When: Saturday 15 July from 11.30am
Where: Royal London Hospital, Turner Street E1

The Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell MP will show his support for hundreds of low paid cleaners, porters and security guards this Saturday 15 July outside Royal London Hospital in East London.

The Shadow Chancellor will express his support for workers employed by Serco at Barts Health NHS Trust who are on strike across four London Hospitals in a campaign against low pay and poor treatment.

The workforce have already taken three days of strike action between 4 July and 7 July and are now on the 5th day of a seven day strike. The workers have warned Barts that they are also prepared to stage a 14 day stoppage starting on 25 July.

Unite representatives will also address the rally which is expected to draw hundreds of people wishing to show solidarity with the workers. The supporters will then march to Mile End Hospital where workers are also on strike.

Unite Regional Officer Ruth Hydon said: “Low paid workers who keep our hospitals clean, safe and running smoothly have shown strength, dignity and determination in their campaign for better treatment. It’s high time that Serco got around the negotiating table to resolve this dispute.

“Unite members working for Serco at Barts are refusing to accept 1 per cent  after seeing their real living standards drop year on year. Support for the workers is growing as more and more people hear about their unjust treatment. There is no defence for a multimillion pound company making low paid workers even poorer - we urge Serco to act now.”

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
Twitter: @unitetheunion
Facebook: unitetheunion1
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.