Whipps Cross Hospital picket line Whipps Cross Hospital picket line. Photo: Sian Barrett

Striking workers at Royal London and Whipps Cross hospitals spoke to Counterfire’s Sian Barrett about why they are striking and the confidence on the picket lines


“We are striking for a pay rise, to force our Trust to take Serco services in house and because of bullying and discrimination. 

“We’ve been on strike before, in 2017, it was all the same issues as today. This time they want to give us a 3% pay rise, we said no, we are fighting for a 15% pay rise. We are fighting to be included as staff within the NHS. I’m confident we are going to win, we’re getting so much support and solidarity from Unite and the local community. We want to win, we are winners! Serco are worried, we are going to win!”


“We’re striking to get all the services in-house, I mean the domestic porters, front of house staff and caterers. We’re trying to stop privatisation, private sector companies like Serco only want profits, they don’t care about us workers, we’re often doing 3 people’s jobs, there’s no respect and we’re fighting to win.”

Royal London Hospital picket line. Photo: Sian Barrett


We are striking for a 15% pay rise, before Serco offered us 1%. We all went to the vote to strike and 98% of us said yes to striking. Then Serco offered us 3%, we demand more. 

“We want to be treated like NHS staff colleagues, we demand respect, equal treatment and we are fighting to stop privatisation of the NHS. 

“I have confidence we will win our strike demands; we have to fight. All our members are united, Serco will not divide us.”


We want to be treated like any other worker in the NHS. Although we work for Barts Health Trust we’re treated differently to our colleagues employed by the NHS. Without us the doctors and nurses can’t do their jobs, we respect our work and we deserve respect. We contribute to the welfare of patients. 

We are confident that we’re going to win and fight this to the end. Our most important message to the Trust is take our jobs in-house. The NHS is wasting money using private contractors and we the workers are treated unfairly and lose employment benefits. We will win!”

Whipps Cross Hospital picket line

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