SUPPORT staff at Watford General Hospital in London voted overwhelmingly yesterday in favour of strike action against appalling conditions including zero-hours contracts and low pay.
The 300 workers are employed as cleaners, domestics and porters by health privateer Medirest, one of Britain’s biggest health privateers.
GMB at Watford General has asked Medirest to end its use of zero-hours contracts and increase the workers’ hourly rate of £7.30, which is just 10p above the minimum wage for people over 25.
The union says most of the Medirest staff are local people struggling to bring up families and keep up with increasing utility and accommodation bills.
GMB organiser Michael Dooley said: “We will be meeting with the senior management of Medirest for one last effort to avoid any disruption to the patients using the hospital.
“GMB will support our members on strike for however long it takes until zerohours contracts are withdrawn and the workers’ wages are improved.”
Medirest has contracts in more than 50 acute hospitals in Britain, plus many smaller treatment centres and surgeries.
The workers have already staged demonstrations and protests at the hospital over exploitative working conditions