Unite strike at Barts NHS Trust: ‘We need fairness!’

Domestics, porters, caterers and other ‘soft services’ staff at Barts NHS Trust, who won an historic victory in 2022 when they were brought back in-house from private employers, are continuing their fight for fair pay in the NHS, joined by other staff and coordinating with workers in other trusts.

Speaking on the Unite picket line at Whipps Cross hospital, Unite branch secretary Len Hockey welcomed Unite members working for private company Synergy, and nurses in A&E at the Royal London, out on strike as well.

“These are truly historic times in the fight to defend our NHS from the destruction of this government of the rich.”

Unite Strikers at Royal London
Unite strikers at Royal London.
Photo: Hugo Pierre

Len explained that on Wednesday 4 October, a joint demonstration would be taking place with the RMT and Aslef rail unions, and doctors in the BMA – “unity in action against this government and the destructive effect they’re having on all public services.”

He then said: “We’ve heard reports from inside this hospital. They talk about not having enough staff when we go off sick, when we’re on holiday. Look at how many people they begin to find when we go on strike.

“Isn’t this a sign of the hypocrisy of the employers and the government, when they won’t resource patient care properly and give us our lump-sum payment which our colleagues have already received.

“We need justice, we need fairness, and we will stand for nothing less than that.”