ISS hospital workers demand Living Wage

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The lively GMB picket of the ISS head offices in Canary Wharf demanding the London Living Wage for Kingston Hospital ISS staff

OVER 30 GMB members held a lively picket of the private contractor ISS at the company’s HQ in the South Quay Building, Canary Wharf, yesterday morning.

On the picket Helen O’Connor, GMB Southern Regional Organiser, said: ‘Today’s picket is part of our campaign at Kingston Hospital and at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Greenwich, where we are demanding the London Living Wage of £10.55 an hour.

‘The company have a policy whereby if you work for a month without being off sick for a day you “earn” one day’s sick “credit”. This is inadequate and unsafe.’

‘ISS hospital workers are forced to come into work when they are sick because they have to wait three days before they get any form of sick pay.

‘Their wages are so low they cannot afford to go even one day without pay as they have bills to pay just like the rest of us.

‘This leaves workers with little choice but to come into work sick, putting vulnerable hospital patients at risk of infection.

‘ISS management are on full sick pay from day one. The pay and conditions ISS offer hospital workers belong in the Victorian era.

‘ISS are winning contracts in other hospitals so the risk of cross infection is widespread.

‘We held a successful demonstration outside Kingston Hospital on February 2nd.

‘ISS at Kingston have offered to sit round the table with us but only if we stop our campaign.

‘We also want to see legislation to stop companies blocking workers from exercising their democratic rights.’

GMB regional organiser Gary Palmer told News Line: ‘The sooner ISS learn that the GMB is here to stay and will not go away until the ISS workers get the same sick pay rights as their managers, the better.

‘It doesn’t stop there for the GMB, we want to see the end of all privateers in the NHS and all services brought back in-house.’