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Whipps Cross hospital workers: "Where we fight, we win"
LOW-PAID health workers at Whipps Cross hospital, east London, have scored an important victory in their fight for a living wage.
Their employers, ISS Mediclean had made a final offer of £5 an hour but the workers were campaigning for a minimum rate of £5.17.
Managers had told the workforce that not a penny extra was available.
After many days of strike action, the company agreed to make a lump-sum payment which will be equivalent to the rate UNISON was demanding.
They've also agreed to increase some shift payments from £4.73 an hour to a new shift-work rate of £5.54 an hour.
The principle of ending the two-tier system - where workers who were transferred over from the NHS have better pay and conditions that those joining after privatisation - has been accepted, by 2006.
The deal covers seven different categories of workers, including porters, cleaners and security staff and the lowest-paid have gained the most. But the whole workforce is pleased at the improved offer.
UNISON joint branch secretary Len Hockey, told the socialist: "The campaign of strike action has been vindicated in this deal and the union has shown that where we fight, we win."
UNISON nationally must build on this success and mount an effective campaign on behalf of all low-paid workers in the privatised health service.
In The Socialist 19 July 2003:
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