Union announces further strike dates after Carillion fails to take action on bullying, harassment and discrimination


GMB members employed by Carillion are to take another 12 days strike action in the dispute over bullying, harassment and discrimination at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital.

Although the 150, mainly Goan, domestic workers have already taken six days’ strike action, there has been no movement by Carillion to deal with the issues at the heart of the dispute.

Carillion will be given notice of a further five days of continuous strike action from March 8th to 12th inclusive, followed by a further seven days of continuous strike action from March 17th to 23rd March inclusive.

GMB regional organiser Carole Vallelly said: “It’s shameful that Carillion have taken no action on bullying and harassment and discrimination and yet again are trying to sweep genuine issues under the carpet. This dispute will not be resolved until these issues have been dealt with and until Carillion have the humility to accept that these workers are entitled to a voice and that they and GMB should be treated with the necessary dignity and respect.”

On March 17th the union is planning a march through Swindon to mobilise and demonstrate the level of support for the strikers in the community. GMB will be seeking support from other unions and community groups for this demonstration. During the strike days GMB members will fan out across the country to visit staff employed by Carillion at other locations and they will also visit staff at locations where Semperian own the PFI contract. During these visits they will seek support and explain the tax dodging involved in these PFI contracts.

Today GMB members travelled to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford where Carillion is the facilities managers to discuss common problems with union members there.

And yesterday they visited the company’s head office, with Carole Vallelly saying: “Jane Smith, their communications manager, came out and spoke to the strikers.  I don’t think she could have failed to be moved by their genuine honesty and sincerity as they told her of their experiences at the hands of the managers at the hospital.

“I do hope that she is able to communicate to her colleagues in the company that they do need to take action to deal with how our members have been treated.”

Last week GMB were given assurances by RMT and ASLEF, whose member’s London Transport  pension fund is a major shareholder in Semperian PPP Investment Partners, the owners of the 30 year PFI contract at Great Western Hospital in Swindon, that they would intervene in the dispute with  Carillion staff at the hospital.

Earlier this week GMB announced it has written to the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee asking for an investigation into the siphoning off of NHS cash into tax free scams for foreign investors using Channel Islands.

This is after it came to light that the holding company of Semperian that owns 35 PFI contracts to run NHS hospitals in the UK, including that in Swindon, is based in Jersey for the express purpose to enable overseas investors to avoid tax on dividend income arising from running these NHS facilities. The ultimate holding company is Jersey registered Semperian PPP Investment Partners Holdings Ltd. GMB is calling on the chancellor to stop this this tax avoidance.

 You can see a UnionNews film on the dispute here 




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