Swindon hospital workers involved in a long-running dispute with privateer Carillion travelled to Portsmouth yesterday to show their solidarity with "bullied" colleagues.
GMB union hospital cleaners and domestic staff at Swindon's Great Western hospital - who have taken 21 days of strike action against their employer - held a lively demonstration at Queen Alexandra hospital in support of Carillion staff there.
Carillion supervisors have been accused of bullying staff at Queen Alexandra where one manager also works a day a week at Great Western.
The dispute at Great Western has been under way since December last year.
Since then 150 hospital workers have repeatedly walked out over what they claim is the persistent failure of the Carillion management to deal with evidence of bullying, bribery and blacklisting at Great Western.
The GMB members involved in the industrial action work as porters and housekeepers in catering and cleaning and other support roles for the contractor at the Swindon hospital.
GMB regional secretary Paul Maloney said: "We are not anywhere near resolving this dispute at Swindon. The company has yet to meet GMB to resolve the dispute.
"However trade unions know that standing up to bullies works. That is the message that we want to share with Carillion's staff at the Portsmouth hospital."
The union has also accused Carillion of being involved in blacklisting 224 construction workers across Britain, which it said indicated a "culture of illegal corporate bullying" that is "endemic, systematic and deep rooted" in the company.
Carillion currently holds more than £15 billion worth of public-sector contracts in Britain and GMB is calling on MPs and councillors to bar Carillion and other blacklisters from public contracts.
A Carillion spokesman said: "We are disappointed that the GMB is causing yet more needless disruption at a Carillion site, this time in Portsmouth, as the union tries to exploit - and now export - grounds for dispute at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon.
"Carillion does not tolerate bullying, bribery or blacklisting at any of our sites. To suggest otherwise is simply wrong, and any allegations of such practices are taken extremely seriously."
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