Socialist Worker

Whipps Cross hospital workers to strike again

by Joseph Choonara
Issue No. 2016

Workers at Whipps Cross hospital in Leytonstone, east London, were set to begin a three-day strike on Wednesday of this week.

Over 200 domestics, porters and catering staff are involved in the dispute with their employer, Rentokil Initial.

Three years ago they struck to win a demand for equal pay with staff employed directly through the NHS.

Now they are striking again to enforce that deal.

The members of the Unison union want to be paid an equivalent rate to that set out in the Agenda for Change deal.

They have held a series of strikes, and dozens of workers have regularly attended picket lines. The strikes have already had an impact.

Unison union joint branch secretary Len Hockey told Socialist Worker, “Last week management called us in at short notice and agreed to pay the minimum rate backdated to April.

“But they only agreed to £500 of the £1,400 backdated Higher Cost Area Supplement - what most members call London weighting - owed from April.

“We discussed the offer but members decided it wasn’t enough.

“People are focussed on the £1,400. The strike will go ahead unless management comes back with a better offer.”

Rentokil Initial has announced profits of £75 million over the last year. That money needs to be taken from bosses and shareholders and given to healthworkers and NHS services.

Send donations c/o Chris Remington, Unison London region, Congress House, Great Russell Street, London WC1B 3LS. Cheques should be made payable to Unison and marked clearly as donations to the Whipps Cross dispute.

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Article information

Sat 2 Sep 2006, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 2016
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