Equality for St Mary's hospital cleaners, porters and caterers

0 have signed. Let’s get to 150,000!

I work at St Mary’s hospital in London as a domestic service supervisor. People might not notice us, but we are the workers that keep NHS hospitals running. But starting on 28th October over 100 of us are going on strike because we can no longer accept the treatment and working conditions we are subjected to.

Despite working in a hospital, where we are constantly surrounded by people who are sick, me and most of my colleagues don’t get proper sick pay. This means we simply can’t afford to take a sick day, which not only damages our health but also jeopardises the health of patients to whom we could spread our germs. 

We do essential work in the hospital such as cleaning, moving patients around between surgeries and feeding them when in recovery, yet we are not considered worthy of being NHS staff. Instead, we are outsourced to a French multinational company called Sodexo which makes around €1 billion a year in profit and pays most of us poverty wages of £8.21 per hour or less.

I’m 53, and with this wage I struggle to survive in London. Some of us have to work 60 hours a week just to be able to barely afford to cover rent, bills, food and transport.

My colleagues include porters and caterers all of whom, like me, are migrants from all over the world. We are striking for dignity, respect and equality. The decision to strike was a tough one and we consider it a last resort. We feel that we are treated as if we were second class people and second class workers.

On top of the poverty pay, lack of sick pay and no additional overtime pay as well as getting less annual leave and worse pensions than NHS staff, we are also denied even basic things such as uniforms and changing facilities. We are even excluded from using NHS staff canteens.

That is why we joined the trade union United Voices of the World who have shown us that we do not need to accept the way Sodexo and St Mary’s treat us. They have taught us that we can stand up and fight back. And that’s exactly what we are going to do. 

Please sign our petition for fair pay and better working conditions.