The National Health Action Party (NHAP) wishes to express its solidarity with the outsourced cleaners and porters of St. Mary’s Hospital London who will decide tomorrow on whether to take strike action against their employer Sodexo.
Sodexo currently holds a facilities contract with Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. In its 2018 Annual Report the French based multinational boasted of having a revenue stream of 20.4 bn euros and reported a net profit of just under 1bn euros.
Between 2005 – 2018 its former CEO, Michel Landel, enjoyed annual bonuses of up to 200% of his €933,400 salary. While between the years of 2014 – 2018 alone his gross income stood at €10,304,622. During that same time and up to the present day, Sodexo have also refused to pay their workers at St. Mary’s anything but poverty wages.
NHS pay scales are currently set by the NHS’ Agenda for Change (AfC) framework, this framework also provides those scales with London weighting. However, there has recently been a growing – and increasingly worrying – trend for NHS Trusts to outsource swathes of facilities roles in order to save money. And in the process making the NHS complicit in propping up an outsourcing model that disproportionately subjects migrant workers to extreme levels of exploitation. Currently porters and cleaners who work directly for London NHS Trusts receive an hourly wage of £11.31 - £12.92 while Sodexo’s employees who do the same job receive just £6.16 - £8.21. They also do not receive pay for work done overtime.
Sodexo’s workers will also be striking for vaccinations, vaccinations which Sodexo is legally obliged to provide them with. The workers are also demanding that Sodexo provide its staff with more than one uniform per employee; as the current policy is forcing staff to work in unclean uniforms and thereby increasing the risk of infection spreading.
The NHAP wishes to express its solidarity with these workers. The upcoming strike is being organised by the trade union, United Voices of the World (UVW). The NHAP would urge our members and supporters to support UVW by donating to their strike fund.