WORKERS employed by privateer Carillion at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon have voted 98.3% in favour of industrial action over job losses, pay cuts and the imposition of grossly inferior staff rosters.
The GMB has now given notice to Carillion of the 98.3% vote and union officers and shop stewards are meeting to assess the result of the ballot and fix dates for industrial action to commence in this new dispute.
The GMB had already advised Carillion that GMB members working for the company at the hospital have unanimously rejected the proposed new shift and rota changes in a workplace ballot.
If brought in, the changes will mainly affect housekeeping staff and ward hostesses, though all staff will lose paid breaks.
Of the current cleaning workforce of 200, around 20 will be made redundant, but every member of staff will be doing 80 hours less cleaning each year.
The workers will lose on average £650 per year, due to loss of unsocial hours payments, and some staff will lose up to 11 lieu days.
The new arrangements will introduce 12-hour shifts; with a one hour unpaid break in the middle.
There are particular problems for staff with childcare commitments, or second jobs as the new longer shifts will also mean that staff will not be able to get to and from work by public transport on Sundays, and few of them own cars.
Carole Vallelly, GMB organiser, said: ‘GMB members in Carillion are sending a strong message to management with this huge vote of over 98.3% in favour of industrial action at the Great Western Hospital.
‘Carillion is trying to force through unworkable changes to hours and shifts, which will mean our members will be losing money that they just cannot afford to lose.
‘Many of our, mainly female, members will simply not be able to work the new shifts as they have caring responsibilities, but Carillion refuse to work with us and listen to our members’ concerns.
‘GMB questions whether Carillion can maintain the same standards of cleaning at the Hospital with less staff doing less hours.
‘Our members will be expected to do the same amount of work in much less time, and with fewer of them.
‘There is a very real fear that Carillion’s cleaning cuts could cost lives.’