Domestics, porters and catering staff at Whipps Cross hospital in Leytonstone, east London, began a three-day strike on Wednesday of this week. The workers, employed by Rentokil Initial, are trying to win equal pay and conditions to those employed directly by the NHS.
Just over 200 members of the Unison union are involved in the dispute. Most have been involved in picketing either in this strike on in the previous series of strike days. By Wednesday lunchtime there were about 40 workers on the picket line.
The workers rejected a last minute offer from management the day before the strike began. They were offered Agenda for Change rates of pay, the same as those received by NHS workers, backdated to April. But only £500 of the £1,400 owed in backdated London weighting was on offer.
King Adomako, a Unison rep, told Socialist Worker, “We’re demanding the full £1,400 that is owed to us by the company. The money is our money.” The workers are particularly determined to win the full amount because, three years ago, they had to strike to win the equal pay and conditions deal that they are now attempting to enforce.
Union members said that if the three-day strike didn’t win the workers’ demands they would move to a week-long strike.
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.
Download Unison collection sheet [40kb PDF]