Union claims employment agency is driving coach and horses through employment law by suppling scab labour during Carillion strike

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Striking Carillion health workers yesterday staged protests in Swindon and Bath over an employment agency supplying scab labour to their hospital.

The GMB used a Wild West stagecoach, horses and drivers outfitted as cowboys and cowgirls to show that Bath employment agency Sky Blue Solutions is running a ‘coach and horses’ through the law that forbids employment agencies to supply staff during trade disputes.

The union wants the firm to be punished for breaking the law and has made a formal complaint to the Employment Agency Standards Inspectorate (EASI).

 During the day GMB organiser Carole Vallelly tweeted: “Carillion didn’t seem to appreciate the coach and horses. This is an industrial dispute. WE AIN’T PLAYING NICELY.”

More than 150 members are involved in strike action at the hospital against their PFI employer Carillion over allegations of bullying, harassment and discrimination at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital. The union wants the company to formally investigate the claims, but Carillion have refused to budge.

GMB organiser Carole Vallelly said: “The purpose of these two demonstrations today was to make it clear to everybody that Carillion and SkyBlue Solutions are driving a ‘coach and horses’ through the law that states employers are not allowed to use agency workers to strike break.

“GMB has given chapter and verse to the Employment Agencies Standards Inspectorate of how SkyBlue Solutions have been supplying agency workers from bath to do the work of our striking members. The penalty for breaking the law is £5,000 per person supplied per day they work. GMB will insist that the law is applied.

“Seeing a Wild West stagecoach and horses driving through the streets of Swindon and Bath will give people a visual image of what lawlessness is in practise.”


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