Socialist Worker

Strike at Whipps Cross hospital

by Tony Phillips chair, Waltham Forest Keep Our NHS Public
Issue No. 2013

More than 200 porters, domestics and catering staff employed by contractors Initial Rentokill at Whipps Cross hospital in Leytonstone, east London, struck for two days last week.

The workers, members of the Unison union, are demanding the implementation of Initial’s promised pay and conditions package. This is equivalent to the Agenda for Change deal covering staff directly employed by the NHS.

Pickets on both days were well supported with about 160 workers present all day. The workers have now taken three days of strike action. Unison branch secretary Len Hockey told the pickets, “We need to step up the fight to make Initial honour their agreement, which we won through strike action three years ago.”

Mass meetings will now consider the next step in the fight. Shop stewards are expected to recommend two further days of strike action on 14 and 15 August.

They also plan to have a demonstration on the next strike day and take a busload of pickets to protest outside Initial’s headquarters.

The Unison branch at UCL Hospitals in London pledged £1,000 for strikers. Branch chair Janet Maiden said, “We’re proud to support these low paid workers in their fight.”

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Sat 12 Aug 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2013
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