Hospital security guards plan six-week strike

Submitted by AWL on 11 January, 2022 - 2:38 Author: Ollie Moore
GOSH security guards with Andy McDonald MP

Security guards at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital will strike for six weeks from 18 January, demanding equality of pay and conditions with directly-employed workmates on NHS contracts. The strike is set to be one of the longest in NHS history.

Erica Rasheed, a security guard and activist in the United Voices of the World (UVW) union, said: “In seven months, I will give birth to my second child at an NHS hospital, and like many women across the country, I will marvel at this wonderful service which I’m proud to be part of delivering.

“But it will be a bittersweet moment, because I won’t be able to afford to stay with my newborn longer than the six weeks statutory maternity pay gives me. My NHS colleagues get to stay home for five months. They earn a whopping £2,500 more during that time. From a woman’s perspective, this is what outsourcing looks like.”

UVW argues that outsourcing represents a form of indirect racial discrimination, as it leads to an outsourced workforce, with a higher proportion of migrants workers and workers of colour, having substantially worse pay and conditions than a directly-employed workforce which is majority white. The union is pursuing legal claims in a number of the workplaces in which it organises on this basis.

• More, and strike fund details, here

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