When: 10.00am Tuesday 4 July 2017
What: cleaners, porters and security staff stage protest and begin a three day strike
Where: Royal London Hospital, Stepney Way beside the Queen Alexandra statue.
Low paid workers at Barts Health NHS Trust employed by Serco, who are demanding a proper pay increase, will hold a protest on 4 July and take part in a three day strike across four London hospitals.
Unite accused Serco of wasting time by inviting the union to talks with the conciliation and arbitration service ACAS on 28 June but the employer refused to put anything new on the ‘negotiating table’ for the workforce to consider. Earlier this month 99 per cent of workers that took part in the strike 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: “Workers across four London hospitals will be taking strike action this week in a battle against low pay. Cleaners, porters and security staff 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.
“Rather than try to settle this dispute the private contractor Serco wasted valuable time by offering absolutely nothing new for the workforce at talks with ACAS last week. 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.