Cleaners, porters and security rally at the Royal London Hospital prior to strike action
The cleaners, porters and security who belong to Unite the Union began several days of strike action on the 4th of July with an enthusiastic and noisy rally at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel at 10.00am.
Since December 2016, the so-called ‘soft services’ (catering, cleaning, security and portering) have been transferred from the NHS to the private sector in a deal which will cost the taxpayer £600 million and result in large profits for a company which provides public sector services globally and has been involved in a series of scandals relating to fraud and bad management: SERCO.
Since SERCO have taken over they have:
- Planned job cuts at Whipps Cross Hospital
- Attempted to abolish tea breaks for hard pressed workers at the Royal London Hospital
- Increased the work load to unsustainable levels, affecting workers’ physical and mental well-being
- Continued zero hours contracts despite a commitment not to
Unite members have called for:
- A pay rise of 30p per hour
- An end to proposed job cuts
- An end to an ever increasing workload that is affecting workers’ health
SERCO have refused to listen to workers, who have now been pushed into industrial action to defend their jobs and fight against the oppressive working conditions which have been imposed on them by this company in its pursuit of profit over the well-being of its workforce.
Ellen Graubart was born in India of American parents and came to London from Virginia as a teenager to study art. She lives and works as an artist in Hackney. She is a member of Counterfire, Stop the War and Hackney Palestine Solidarity Campaign.