Thousands of council and hospital workers go on strike
Tuesday 14 February 2012
Thousands of council and hospital workers went on strike today in
two separate disputes over terms and conditions and claims of
Cleaners, caterers and other staff at Swindon's Great Western Hospital, employed by private contractor Carillion, are staging 24-hour walkouts today and again on February 21 and 23.
The GMB union said it had submitted a formal complaint on behalf of more than 100 members of staff over claims of a culture of bullying, and has a £100,000 strike fund available.
A spokesman for Carillion said the firm was "very disappointed" with the strikes, adding: "The matters that have been raised are still currently being investigated in line with our policies and procedures. The investigation has been a lengthy process and at all times we have sought to accommodate the GMB and its members.
"It is unfortunate that a decision to strike has been taken ahead of the conclusion of that investigation. Carillion has had many years of excellent employee relations with its staff at the hospital which we have always sought to continue."
The firm said it had "robust contingency plans" in place to deal with the strike.
Thousands of Cheshire West and Chester council workers were also taking industrial action today in protest at cuts to their terms and conditions.
Members of three unions were walking out for three hours from 3pm, saying lack of progress in talks has left them with "no alternative" but to take industrial action.
Graham McDermott of the GMB union said: "The aim of this industrial action is to oppose the council's decision to impose changes to terms and conditions by means of dismissal and re-engagement.
"The cuts include the loss of enhancement for weekend working, removal of some shift premiums and the removal of the majority of Bank Holiday premiums. These cuts will impact on many of the lower-paid council employees."
Rail signal workers in Scotland also went on strike today in a dispute with Network Rail over career progression, which affected some rail services.
Rail Maritime and Transport union leader Bob Crow said: "This morning's action is rock solid and despite all the empty promises, Network Rail has once again had a major impact on services. If Network Rail spent as much time resolving this dispute as they do promising passengers trains that never turn up we could negotiate a swift settlement.
"RMT has tried to reach a negotiated settlement to this unilateral ripping up of a local arrangement but unfortunately the management have refused to see sense and have failed to engage with us at all since the strike action over Christmas.
"RMT members will not stand by while management unilaterally rip up agreements and practices that have been in place at local level for decades."
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...