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Fighting the outsourcers

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Issue 2652
Bassetlaw hospital strike on cards
Doncaster hospital strike on cards

Outsourced catering workers at two South Yorkshire hospitals plan to strike for three days a week for the whole of May.

The Unison and GMB unions at Doncaster & Bassetlaw NHS Hospitals Trust were set to hold their first walkout on Wednesday of this week.

They are demanding that Sodexo bosses pay them the same rate as workers directly employed by the NHS.

Unison members plan three further sets of strikes on 7-9 May, 15-17 May and 20-22 May.

Unison slammed Sodexo bosses. “Sodexo say that each contract stands on its own and refuse to dip into their billion pounds worth of profit to pay staff,” it said.

“But they propose bringing in Sodexo staff from other contacts to try to break the strikes.”

It added, “Governors were assured that catering workers would receive NHS pay when they took the decision to privatise the service. Those assurances seem empty now.”

The walkout in Doncaster follows victories over pay in Liverpool and Bolton, Greater Manchester. Outsourcer OCS at Liverpool Women’s Hospital was forced to pay NHS rates last month.

nGMB union members protested for higher pay outside three hospitals in west London on Tuesday.

They are demanding that Sodexo pays support staff more than the minimum wage of £8.21 an hour. A GMB member said, “I clean blood and faeces, day in and day out. I think I am worth more than the minimum wage.”

Southampton security strike

Security guards at Southampton General Hospital were set to begin a two-day walkout on Friday of this week.

The 21 Unite union members want outsourcer Mitie to improve equipment.

The workers have already held two 24-hour strikes and plan to escalate to a 72-hour strike from 7 June.

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