Over two hundred outsourced workers who are members of the GMB at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich, South London struck for 48 hours on 24-26 November.
On the 24th the workers, who are employed by Dutch multinational ISS as cleaners, security, ward hostesses, caterers, on the switchboard and as porters, struck alongside directly employed NHS staff striking for their national pay dispute.
The outsourced GMB members are looking to level up to the same terms and conditions as directly employed NHS workers — on basic pay rates, unsocial, weekend and bank holiday hours rates, sick pay and other issues. The first strike day in their campaign was 8 October.
Last week, ISS took the workers and their union to the High Court to try to stop the strike. The GMB refused to back down and in the event the company lost, costing itself tens of thousands of pounds. (The judge's ruling about workers' right to strike may also provide helpful case law in the future.)
It says something that this giant multinational company is so determined to deny its low-paid workers a rise.
They are obviously scared of the QEH workers' example inspiring others and spreading.
• Messages of solidarity to Nadine Houghton
Care UK pay deal
As Solidarity goes to press we hear that Care UK workers have voted to accept their pay deal. More details next week.
Defend Julie Davies!
Strikes to defend victimised Haringey National Union of Teachers secretary Julie Davies have been suspended as headteachers in the borough agree to pay into facility time agreements regardless of who is elected secretary.
Disciplinary charges relating to Julie still stand. On Monday 24 November over 100 activists gathered outside Haringey Civic Centre to lobby the council meeting. The council meeting received a deputation led by Niall O'Connor of Haringey NUT who attacked Labour council leader Clare Kober in his speech.
Protesters outside the council held placards saying: time for Labour values from a Labour council.
Activists in the public gallery heckled council speakers who claimed the attack on Julie is not political.