Whipps Cross Hospital strike rally Whipps Cross Hospital strike rally. Photo: Tom Greenwood

Striking Barts hospital workers are determined to win, reports Carole Vincent

On a cold, rainy morning at Whipps Cross hospital, spirits weren’t dampened as hundreds joined the rally of Unite members in dispute with Barts Trust and Serco.

A massive show of solidarity from the FBU, Unison (Catering dept, Naomi), UVW, the NEU, UCL Nurse Janet Maiden and Unite NEC members Richard Allday and Zimeon Jones along with members of the public who beeped horns and joined the strikers on Friday.

Since the strike began last Monday, the end of the first week has seen two rallies, large, vibrant picket lines and a surge in new members to Unite the Union. 

The new members have seen the determination of the strikers, outsourced to Serco, to win pay parity with cleaners, porters, security and catering staff working in Barts Trust on NHS contracts.

One striker, Rosaline, who has worked for Barts for over six years, told me,

“It’s not fair, we do the same work and yet we get less pay on Serco contracts.

“We have the same bills to pay, we did work in the pandemic on the front line. We love our work and the patients, we do long hours, yet if we work weekend shifts we don’t get extra, the staff on NHS contracts get better pay and get treated much better. 

“We deserve to be treated well too, that’s why we say, enough is enough, Serco have got to go, we must go back in house on NHS contracts. 

“We will win, we’re determined. Thank you for all the public support.”

The strike continues until Saturday, with picket lines from 5.30am – 10am at St Bartholemews, Whipps Cross and the Royal London Hospitals in East London.

Photo: Sybil Cock
Photo: Sybil Cock

Before you go

Counterfire is growing faster than ever before

We need to raise £20,000 as we are having to expand operations. We are moving to a bigger, better central office, upping our print run and distribution, buying a new printer, new computers and employing more staff.

Please give generously.

Tagged under: