Goan hospital workers in Swindon take fifth day of action as union reveals Channel Islands tax dodge

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As GMB members at Carillion begin their fifth day of strike action, the union is today calling for a parliamentary investigation into corporate tax dodging after it emerged the owner of the scandal-hit hospital operator is based in the Channel Islands – allowing it to avoid paying UK taxes on the 35 PFI contracts it controls.

More than 100 domestic workers at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital (right) are on strike over allegations of racism, bullying, harassment and intimidation by Carillion management against its many Goan staff. Carillion operates the hospital’s PFI catering and cleaning contract on behalf of Jersey-based Semperian.

GMB has now written to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee asking it to investigate the siphoning of NHS cash into tax free scams for foreign investors and asking Chancellor George Osborne to close this tax dodge loophole.

General secretary Paul Kenny said: “At a time when people are suffering from mass unemployment and wage cuts, and ordinary people are being squeezed, this government is presiding over literally suitcases of cash being handed to foreign investors who are taking this much-needed NHS money overseas.

“It’s bad enough for taxpayers to have to pay rent for hospitals and schools – but it’s beyond belief that those making £100s of millions from this appalling system can stick two fingers to hard-pressed UK families while they enjoy tax free profits from our pockets.”

Last week RMT and ASLEF gave the GMB assurances they would intervene in the dispute. Through the London Transport pension fund, members of the two rail unions are major shareholders in Semperian.

Paul Kenny said: “It’s hardly surprising that RMT and ASLEF have reacted angrily when they discovered how the money their members have saved for their pensions is being used.”

* You can read the inspirational story of how the workers have found their voice here

And watch our film report on the dispute here:

 


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