GMB members angry at two-tier workforce at Brighton and Sussex Hospitals

GMsodexoB members working for Sodexo at Brighton & Sussex Hospitals are balloting for strike action over the Living Wage.

The company claims it cannot afford to pay its staff any more, but the union says it has supported this with any financial evidence. These members work as outsourced cleaners, caterers, housekeepers and porters on the NHS contracts at Brighton and Haywards Heath Hospitals.

GMB regional officer Gary Palmer said: “GMB in negotiations is pressing Sodexo to pay no less than £7.85 per hour and for other improvements and upgrades as a step towards ending the two tier workforce at the hospital.

“Sodexo claim that they are not be able to sustain any such rises. However so far they not supported this claim with any financial evidence regarding this contract to support this.

“GMB would not support a contention that that decreased profits for Sodexo shareholders is a rationale for not taking this step towards ending the two tier workforce for staff at the Trust. Any such argument will hold little weight in light of the financial detriments and struggles our members have to deal with on a daily basis.

“Although talks with Sodexo are ongoing to discuss all offers we are proceeding with this consultative ballot as members are ruling out nothing at this time, even up to and including industrial action in their fight for significant steps to end the two tier workforce.”

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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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