Socialist Worker

Outsourced workers strike at hospital in Carlisle

Issue No. 2744

Unison union members on strike at the Cumberland infermary in Carlisle

Unison union members on strike at the Cumberland infermary in Carlisle

More than 150 porters, cleaners and catering workers at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary are striking for long-promised unsocial hours payments.

Staff employed directly by the NHS receive enhanced rates for working at nights or over weekends.

The strikers, who are now employed by outsourcers Mitie, have not been getting these payments for ten years.

Workers, who are members of the Unison and GMB unions, are fed up with constant promises that their situation will be “sorted out”.

They took action last Friday and on Monday this week.

Unison branch secretary Liz Walsh told Socialist Worker that the atmosphere on picket lines at the hospital was “fantastic”.

“There’s been a great turnout of strikers—and lots of tooting and waving from the public,” she said.

“The strikers’ mood is upbeat but there’s been no movement yet from Mitie, so we need to keep on going.”

Unison regional organiser David Atkinson said, “It is incredibly disappointing that key workers, who have put their lives at risk to keep us safe during this pandemic, have been forced to strike by their intransigent employer, Mitie.”

Messages of support to [email protected] and follow Unison Cumbria & north lancs health branch on Facebook for updates

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