‘We’re NHS workers – bring us back in-house’! – demand striking St George’s staff

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GMB strikers outside St George’s Hospital in Tooting yesterday morning fighting against attack from privateer Mitie

STRIKING cleaners, domestic workers and hostesses employed by the public services privateer Mitie, got great support from local people as they held a powerful march around St George’s hospital in Tooting, south west London, yesterday.

The GMB members are fighting to be brought back in-house as directly employed NHS workers and for better pay and conditions, including sick pay, which is denied to those on the most recent contracts.

GMB member Japheth Riley told News Line: ‘We need better wages. We have to work seven weeks before next pay because they have changed the date that they’re paying us.

‘The initial agreement was that you work one week in hand, now they’ve added two more weeks, but after waiting seven weeks we will only get paid for five.

‘We should have been paid last Friday, 27th May, but we have to wait until 11th June

‘I’m on the old contract but people on the new one get no sick pay.

‘We should all be on the same contract with proper pay and conditions.’

Picket Abdifatah Mohamed said: ‘I am on the new contract. We are all doing the same job but have different contracts.

‘Now we have to wait six weeks and our money is often short.

‘There are about 600 workers here so they are saving a lot of money by not paying people properly.’

Kumar, another worker on the picket line, said: ‘We want Mitie to give us Personal Protection Equipment when we are on the wards.

‘Now we have monkey pox, all cleaners, domestics and hostesses should be provided with PPE for their safety.

‘Holidays have to be booked online, and sometimes you don’t know if it’s gone through. It’s very badly planned.

‘Also, our money is often short, especially when we do overtime.

‘Even the basic pay is short sometimes and they’ve changed it to 11th of each month when we get our pay.’

Helen O’Connor, GMB Southern Regional Organiser, told News Line: ‘We are very proud of the GMB members at St George’s who work for Mitie.

‘They are taking their picket duty very seriously. We are demanding proper pay and conditions and we want Mitie out!’

The GMB members are determined to pursue their struggle to victory and after yesterday’s powerful 24-hour action they are out again on a 48-hour strike next Monday and Tuesday.