|Hundreds of low paid cleaners, porters and security guards employed by Serco today begin a seven-day strike in a bid to break the 1% pay cap.
The workers at Barts Health NHS Trust are warning they will stage a 14 day stoppage starting on 25 July with further strike action planned for August and September.
Unite national officer Colenzo Jarret-Thorpe said: “Low paid workers who keep our hospitals clean, safe and running smoothly are not prepared to get poorer while the multimillion pound privateer Serco rakes in millions.
“Unite members working for Serco at Barts are refusing to accept 1% after seeing their real living standards drop year on year. Last week’s industrial action was solidly supported and they are determined to get a decent pay increase of an extra 30p per hour.
“Workers regularly report getting home late, tired and sore from the intense workload heaped on them by Serco – they deserve better treatment and better pay. We urge Serco to get around the negotiating table and resolve this dispute.
Serco won the £600 million soft services contract for Barts Health NHS Trust last year. The company made a profit of £82 million, and pays its chief executive over £1 million a year. Unite members employed by Serco as domestic staff, porters and security workers at Barts Health NHS Trust want a 30p per hour wage increase but the claim has been rejected by Serco.
Workers also called for a strike ballot because porters at Whipps Cross Hospital are up in arms over Serco’s plans to cut jobs, and to make matters worse Serco has also increased workloads to unsustainable levels for cleaners across the Trust.