Around 60 striking GMB union members were camped out the front of Ealing Hospital on the first day of their second 48 hour strike yesterday, Wednesday. The strikers are porters, domestic, catering, and help desk workers employed by Compass Medirest. They are fighting for the London Living Wage and holiday pay, sick pay and unsocial hours pay. The action follows a 98 percent vote for strikes and a solid 48 hour strike last week.
The strikers’ presence was visible from a distance. A trail of GMB flags and placards were stuck into the surrounding grassy areas leading up to the crowd gathered on the picket line. Some strikers were chanting “Medirest Get Out” and “Riot Riot, Let’s Start a Riot”.
One striker told Socialist Worker, “A fulltime worker takes home £700 a month—how can we live on that? We’re paid just £6.31 an hour, with no unsocial hours pay or sick pay. At other hospitals, the same company pays different rates. We’re fighting for a living wage, and if they don’t respond, we’ll need more strikes.”
Reballots have opened the way to bigger struggle