Hospital staff stage wildcat strike

Porters and cleaners at Glasgow
Royal Infirmary have staged a wildcat strike over job cuts they say could
endanger patients’ lives.

The unofficial action has seen more
than 100 workers walk out over the dispute with Sodexho, the company which
holds the contract for domestic services at the hospital.

Staff are angry 10 porters on
temporary contracts lost their jobs, cutting staff levels at the casualty units
by a third on most shifts.

Unison said the protest was not
organised by them but the union understood why staff walked out. Union GMB
Scotland said it was surprised at the move.

GMB Scottish organiser Robert Parker
said: "Discussions are continuing to take place with the employer with a
view to preserving the jobs of the 10 temporary porters who have been paid off.
Today there are meetings with the management taking place with a view to
finding suitable alternative employment for the workers involved."

Senior GMB organiser Alex McLuckie,
who went to the hospital to have meetings with staff and management, said:
"GMB Scotland would not encourage our members to take any form of
industrial action until every avenue to find a solution had been fully

"This trade union would not
wish to embark on any course of action which would result in anything to the
detriment of our employees – or impact adversely on the large numbers of
patients and staff at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, who depend on our people for
the essential services they provide."

GMB Scotland is the largest trade
union for Sodexho domestic, catering and portering employees.

By Quentin Reade

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