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Medirest workers at Northwick Park Hospital vote to strike over low wages

PUBLISHED: 12:51 14 November 2019 | UPDATED: 15:51 14 November 2019

Northwick Park Hospital

Northwick Park Hospital

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Contracted workers including cleaners and kitchen staff at Northwick Park Hospital have voted for strike action over poor wages.

Medirest workers at the Watford Road hospital, who are members of the GMB union, are currently paid £8.21 per hour, well below the London Living Wage of £10.55.

GMB members say they want equal terms and conditions for all workers and a return to the same working conditions before Medirest took over in 2017.

In the ballot of 200 cleaners, porters, ward hostesses and kitchen staff at Northwick Park Hospital who are employed by Medirest, part of the multi-national facilities provider Compass Group, there was a 75% per cent turnout, with 72pc voting in favour of strike action.

GMB, the hospital workers' union, is due to meet with Medirest in the hope of averting a strike.

In September and October workers who are represented by GMB London Region were involved in mass protests to let the company know that they are unhappy about their wages and workloads.

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Many workers also claim that they are bullied and harassed to do more work and feel under pressure to get the job done in limited time, GMB said.

Michael Dooley, GMB regional organiser, said: "Medirest know our position. We want equal terms and conditions for all workers and a return to the same working conditions before Medirest took over in 2017.

"Many workers are paid minimum wage and we have had wide concerns regarding bullying and over work among other things.

"We have been speaking to the company for a year but to no avail, so if workers have no choice who would blame them for going on strike?"

A spokesperson for Medirest said: "We are having ongoing discussions with the Union and our employees on this matter.

"We are always happy to talk to anyone who works within our teams and are keen to maintain an open dialogue with our people on issues that are important to them.

"Pay rates are set out in our client contracts and agreed in partnership with our NHS Trust clients and we are committed to ensuring all our employees are paid a fair wage.

"We take any allegations of bullying very seriously. We have robust HR procedures in place and would urge anyone with any concerns to come forward."

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