GMB members working for contractor Carillion at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital began a further three days of strike action on Monday 27 February as their dispute over bullying bosses continues.
The workers have already taken several days of strike action but are unhappy with Carillion’s refusal to even acknowledge that a problem exists. "We are not satisfied that they have taken the appropriate action against the accusations of bullying”, said Pablo Fernandez, a support worker at the hospital.
The dispute began in December when the GMB submitted a formal complaint from over 100 workers about bullying and harassment from Carillion managers.
Rail union RMT has declared its support for the Carillion workers after it was revealed that the London Transport Pension Fund, which holds pensions for thousands of RMT members, was a major shareholder in Semperian, Carillion’s parent company. GMB leader Paul Kenny said: “No doubt they [the transport unions] will be as shocked as we are that their members' pension funds are being used to prop up a system of bullying and harassment of workers there.”
RMT general secretary Bob Crow said:
“At the end of the day it could end up as a dispute with London underground workers - if their money is being used to exploit other groups of workers.
“We want the trustees of the pension fund to tell the company that you don't exploit workers anywhere and if they don't listen to that then we'll get our investment moved.
“And if they don't listen to that then we'll have to consider industrial action because we aren't going to use our money from our members to exploit other workers.”