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Vote for South London Aramark strike
Some 175 GMB Union members working as cleaners and hostesses for private contractor Aramark at four hospitals making up the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, have voted overwhelmingly for strike action to win a genuine living wage, suitable sick pay and unsocial hours payments.
Many of the staff who keep the four hospital sites clean and prepare and serve food to the patients are paid as little as £7.38 per hour and receive only 10 days of sick pay per year which is not paid in the first year of service or for the first three days of sickness, reports the GMB.
The domestics and hostesses work at the Bethlem Royal Hospital in Beckenham, the Maudsley Hospital in Camberwell, the Ladywell Unit in Lewisham Hospital and Lambeth Hospital.
GMB members held demonstrations outside the Bethlem Royal and the Maudlsey on 9th February 2016.
Nadine Houghton, GMB regional organiser said: "By voting in favour of strike action, our members have shown that they are serious about fighting for something that any worker should be entitled to: A wage they can live on and a sick pay scheme which ensures they won't be forced into poverty as a result of falling ill.
"Aramark make a profit by paying workers as little as possible. GMB members in SLAM are now saying 'enough is enough' and that they should be rewarded properly for the work they do.
"We will be meeting our members to discuss a somewhat revised pay offer from Aramark and to ask them to confirm whether strike action is still the appropriate next step towards fair conditions for Aramark workers.
"Aramark is a $14.3 billion, American owned, multinational outsourcing provider. They can afford to pay their staff a proper wage."
The GMB says that 97% of those who voted, wanted the strike action to go ahead and that those involved are fighting for an hourly wage of £10.00, as well as sick pay and unsocial hours payments.
It says that previous strike action by 21 members at the Maudsley Hospital was averted last August, when Aramark, having been given notice of an official ballot, agreed to reimburse the staff for holiday leave that had not been paid.
10th March 2016