WORKERS at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital are holding a mass lunchtime rally outside the hospital today, against victimisation by their multi-national privateer employer Carillion.
Swindon and Wilts GMB Regional Officer Carole Vallelly told News Line yesterday: ‘Tomorrow’s lunchtime rally is in support of our members who are being put through a disciplinary procedure because they were brave enough to come forward and give evidence that exposed corrupt practices within Carillion at the Great Western Hospital.
‘Carillion are now victimising the victims.
‘Ten are going through an internal disciplinary, the first of which takes place on Wednesday afternoon.
‘We are representing our members and are determined to stand by them and fight for justice and fairness.
‘This is a protected disclosure under the whistleblowing act and Carillion should not be disciplining these members.’
She continued: ‘The original dispute continues and our members are still solid behind their demands – a fair holiday system must be brought in, there must be an end to management bullying and there must be recognition of the GMB.
‘Carillion management refuse to speak to the GMB and without discussions with the GMB, who the members have confidence in, we cannot see how this dispute can be resolved.
‘We still have an active strike ballot and we won’t rule out further industrial action.
‘We are expecting a good turnout from the GMB and other trade unions tomorrow.’
There have already been more than 20 days of strike action at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital (GWH).
Some supervisors working for Carillion have operated an informal system for years where they demanded cash or goods in exchange for holiday approvals, overtime or shift changes.
The GMB has evidence that this was reported to Carillion management as early as 2009; but the concerns of staff have been swept under the carpet.
The GMB alleges that a culture of institutionalised racism meant that the mainly South Asian staff were not believed.
During the current investigations some staff have bravely admitted that they were forced to give cash or gifts to supervisors. Carillion is now disciplining these whistleblowers.