A strike by around 650 care workers, employees of the private company, Alternative Futures Group (AFG), has forced the employer to the negotiating table after management initially refused to negotiate with public service union Unison. The workers took strike action in protest at the company's decision to cut the allowance for sleepover shifts. This means cuts of up to GBP 2000 (EUR 2300) a year for some workers. Talks between Unison and the Liverpool-based AFG were due to start on 17 May. Meanwhile cleaners at Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow in Essex to the East of London have voted overwhelmingly to strike in protest at plans to outsource the service.