IN THE latest phase of the revolt against low pay in the NHS, hundreds of health workers in east London plan strikes later this month against their private contractor employers.
Domestic, portering and catering staff at Homerton University Hospital and Whipps Cross hospital have already voted for action. Workers at Mile End and St Clements hospitals are set to join in if their ballot result next week is in favour of strikes. Homerton and Whipps Cross workers are employed by ISS Mediclean, the others by Medirest.
Staff employed by ISS Mediclean get as little as £4.42 an hour, have no London weighting, lower overtime rates than NHS workers, no company sick pay and no pension. The workers are members of the Unison union but have also won backing from the TELCO community organisation.
Diana Swingler, Unison branch chair, Homerton University Hospital