Cleaners at Barts NHS Trust drive back Serco attack with unofficial walk out

7 April 2017

IMG-20170407-WA0002Well over 100 NHS cleaners working in the Barts NHS Trust, walked out into a mass meeting on the evening of Thursday 6 April. This was the day their contract was taken over by private firm Serco, who immediately inflicted an astonishing attack – the removal of breaks and an effective 10 year, year on year, pay cut.

They collectively took their break the next morning, in another effective walkout, with a electric mass meeting of over 80 cleaners. Leading cleaners announced to cheers that Serco had backed down over the threat to remove breaks. But the cleaners, organised by Unite (though many not yet in a union) emphasised the need to be vigilant, and to organise for the coming fight over pay. Unite is moving towards an official ballot for strikes against the pay cut.

A campaign address for messages of support and solidarity is in the making, in the meantime please rush support to and we will forward on to leading cleaners and Unite organisers.

The incredible and inspiring action by cleaners has thrown down the gauntlet to private vulture companies seeking to snatch up NHS contracts across the country and impose savage attacks on conditions and pay that will inevitably undermine the quality of care. And their resistance has given a lead to our unions and NHS workers everywhere showing how to stop the attacks. This is a fight about the future of the NHS, and deserves the urgent support of every trade unionist and those who want to defend our NHS.


  1. steven burak said:

    Serco – another huge and dirty multinational corporation, getting its vile and long fingers everywhere. It makes not an ounce of difference to Serco whether its business is manning prisons, guarding killing arms-factories or deploying hospital cleaning : it’s only got one real motive – that gross, lowest-common-denominator bottom-line, of ‘profit’. What does it ‘profit’ any one human being or a corporation or even a collectively dominant cartel of externally-subsidised corporations, if an increasingly growing number of people are being resultingly deprived? Let’s all working together, giving fair support to one another,directly and firmly hammer the first nails into Serco’s corporate coffin. This is not the world we want, and we know it could really only enable a small few to get greedily even richer whilst the rest of us would simply fall by the wayside. So, please support the cleaners, and let’s drive Serco into the proverbial Red Sea.

    7 April 2017 at 6:30pm
  2. sean lyons said:

    your fight is our fight!I am a unison steward at Southampton general hospital where serco have won the contract.they have already started.I know if they starve you out they will come for us.I have been involved for over forty years off and on but some of the stewards are insular they will learn.I will continue to raise the issue.Solidarity is strength.Sean.

    25 July 2017 at 4:26pm

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