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Croydon hospital porters and cleaners demonstrate for sick pay

OUTSOURCED NHS workers at a south London hospital demanded bosses “pay up now” as they protested over a lack of Covid-19 sick pay today.

A large crowd of porters and cleaners gathered outside Croydon University Hospital to call on contractor G4S to provide financial support for self-isolating staff.

The demonstration came after GMB, which represents many of the employees, said that pay slips proved some had missed out on sick pay during the crisis. 

Shadow justice secretary Steve Reed joined local Labour councillors and campaigners to support the workers, who also chanted “GMB right, G4S wrong.”

The union’s regional organiser Helen O’Connor told the Morning Star that the staff had received backing from other hospital staff and the local community.

She warned that a ballot for industrial action could soon follow if management refused to budge.

“There are workers in the hospital who’ve had injuries, they’ve gone off sick and they’ve not had a single penny from G4S,” Ms O’Connor said.

“No one wants to [strike], but we want these workers to be treated seriously and with the respect that they deserve because they’re doing fantastic work throughout the pandemic.

“They’re not asking for the moon — they’re just asking for pay justice and fairness.”

Mr Reed said workers “doing the right thing” cannot pay the bills. 

He told the crowd: “I fully back your demand and I wish you every success in your fight.” 

Paula Peters of Disabled People Against Cuts told the Star: “Hospitals wouldn’t run if it wasn’t for low-paid staff.

“They are part of the beating heart of every hospital. It’s important to show solidarity.”

Both the hospital trust and G4S claim that those unable to work due to Covid-19 “have received full pay.”

Industrial reporter @TrinderMatt

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