(10 August 2017) Hundreds of health workers have been on strike in four hospitals across East London in a campaign to secure higher pay. The workers, mainly cleaning, catering, security and portering staff, are employed by the multinational outsourcing company, Serco. They have already taken 23 days of strike action and have just announced plans for a further 25 days of strikes.
The workers, members of the Unite trade union, have put in a claim for a pay rise of 30p (€0.33) per hour after several years of pay freezes or below-inflation increases. The union argues that Serco can easily afford the pay rise, having made a profit of £82 million in 2016 while paying their chief executive over £1 million a year.
With Serco planning to cut jobs, some workers, particularly cleaners are facing much higher workloads.
In his solidarity message, EPSU General Secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan said: “We hope that the strike action is successful and that this group of essential, hardworking and undervalued workers gets the pay rise they both need and deserve.” He added that members of EPSU affiliates in clinics in Berlin, in elderly care homes in Brest, France, in hospitals in Poland and so many more places are also standing up for better pay, and for more staff to respond to patients’ needs and to prevent burn-out.
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