‘Strike against bullying’

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50 Swindon striking hospital workers lobby the London headquarters of Carillion demanding an end to bullying, harassment and discrimination
50 Swindon striking hospital workers lobby the London headquarters of Carillion demanding an end to bullying, harassment and discrimination

A coachload of fifty Swindon striking hospital workers yesterday descended on the London Headquarters of Carillion in Euston with shouts of ‘Respect at work!

They are demanding an end to alleged bullying, harassment and discrimination by the Carillion company that employs them as kitchen staff and cleaners at Swindon hospital.

Simultaneously, there was a mass picket of the other 83 workers taking place outside Swindon Great Western hospital.

Their union, the GMB, have called another day of strike action at the hospital for tomorrow. This will then be followed by three more strike days on February 27, 28 and 29.

Outside the London Carillion headquarters Andy Newham, the GMB branch secretary for Wiltshire and Swindon, shouted on the megaphone up to the offices which are on the eight floor: ‘Carillion come down and talk to us, we want a representative to answer these allegations of bullying.

‘We want answers, why have these workers been subjected to bullying, harassment and discrimination!’

The delegation of workers and union reps then marched round to the front of the building, up the front steps, to the main entrance where they demanded to see a Carillion representative.

The workers shouted: ‘What do we want? Respect at work!’

Then a lady working for Carillion brought down a mobile phone with a Carillion representative on the line.

Carole Vallelly, the GMB rep organising the struggle, spoke to the Carillion rep on the phone she said: ‘I am the regional organiser and we have brought a lot of Swindon hospital workers down here to protest at the way in which these workers have been treated, they are charging Carillion with harassment and bullying, what have you got to say for yourself?

‘We want answers Carillion!’

Swindon hospital worker Eleca Rodrigues told News Line: ‘We want Carillion to recognise the power of our union.

‘The Carillion people are bullying and harassing us. Any problem we have, any time we come to the managers’ office with a problem they shout at us and tell us to get out of the office.

‘If we ask for a holiday they say no more holidays. The kitchen staff at the hospital are only allowed seven days holiday for the entire year!’