Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page:

Posted on 21 July 2017 at 16:17 GMT

Support Barts NHS striking cleaners and porters!

Barts cleaners and porters held a very lively demo on 15 July. John McDonnell, Labour's shadow chancellor joined Len Hockey, striking porter, Unite branch secretary and Socialist Party member, to speak to the demo from the platform. On Sunday, Len and cleaner Malgorzata Sacewicz were interviewed on Channel Four.


This is an online petition calling on Serco to pay up:

Here are some videos and a picture gallery.

John McDonnell and Len Hockey speaking at BARTS Health strike rally

Picture gallery

Unite Barts NHS cleaners and porters strike demo July 15, photo Paula Mitchell

Click for gallery. Unite Barts NHS cleaners and porters strike demo July 15, photo Paula Mitchell   (Click to enlarge)

Support the Barts striking workers by sending this letter to Barts Trust CEO Alwen Williams:

Chief Executive:; @A_WilliamsNHS; @NHSBartsHealth ‏; 020 7092 5375

CC: Len Hockey, Secretary of Unite across all Bart's Health hospitals: and Linda Taaffe, secretary of Waltham Forest Trades Council,

Serco's email:

Dear Ms Williams, Chief Executive of the Barts Trust,

RE: request for you to intervene on behalf of low-paid workers immediately

I am writing to appeal to you to call on private contractor Serco to bring the current strike by porters, domestics, security and catering staff to an end by immediately meeting the modest demands of Unite the Union.

The union is calling for a 30p an hour pay rise for low-paid workers who are vital to the hospitals. It is unacceptable that workers playing such vital roles are forced to strike for such a modest pay rise. Supporters around the world are shocked that the biggest health trust in Britain relies for the safe-running of its hospitals on contracted workers on such low pay rates.

Last year Serco made a profit of 82 million. There is no question of them not being able to afford this modest pay rise.

The Trust aims to provide "safe and compassionate care to our patients". It is clear to us that this is impossible while Serco is showing no compassion to the low-paid staff struggling to provide these services while unable to live on the poverty pay rates.

On your website you say that you have "been working closely with our partner Serco to ensure that we have robust contingency plans in place to keep our services running and our patients safe during this time." But the strike is showing how important the role these workers play is in keeping the hospitals clean and in making sure everything is where it needs to be when it needs to be there. It is clear to hospital visitors and staff that no such plans are in place and that Serco is not fit to run our health services.

We urge you to please act immediately to bring Serco to the table with Unite to end this strike by alleviating the plight of low-paid workers. We will not desist from campaigning to back these workers.

Yours sincerely,

[insert Your Name]:


Postal address:

You can download this letter by clicking here

Download a National Shop Stewards Network collection sheet by clicking here.

Strikers interviewed on Channel Four

Hospital cleaner Malgorzata Sacewicz spoke alongside striking porter and strike leader Len Hockey about their strike for decent pay at Barts trust on Channel Four on Sunday at 6:30pm. Len, who is a well-known long-standing Socialist Party member and Unite branch secretary, explained that the government's austerity is a political choice.

Demonstration of Barts striking cleaners and porters

Monday picket line report

Unite union pickets were out in force at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, on Monday 17 July. It was the last day of seven days on strike by low-paid cleaners, domestics, catering workers and porters employed by for-profit company Serco at hospitals in the Barts Health NHS Trust.

The mood of the strikers remained upbeat - buoyed by their demonstration the previous Saturday at which shadow chancellor John McDonnell spoke in support (see the Socialist Party video).

Many pickets were scathing at the Tory chancellor's leaked comments over the weekend that public sector workers were "overpaid" in comparison with the private sector when pensions are taken into account (see their comments in the Channel 4 video above).

Chancellor Hammond on 141,500 basic salary

I pointed out that as a cabinet minister Hammond gets a basic salary of 141,500 a year, along with generous expenses, and a final salary pension scheme that most workers can only dream of. On a pay package worth around 400,000 in total Hammond certainly qualifies as "overpaid"!

Also, the strikers pointed out that while they worked in the public sector because of privatisation they actually worked for a private sector company. Moreover, they earned only 9.75 an hour (try living on that Hammond!) and that their pay claim for a 30p an hour increase is easily affordable by a profitable company like Serco.

The strikers made it clear that unless Serco meets their modest pay demand then they will escalate their action to a fortnight's strike.

Dave Carr, east London Socialist Party

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.

Related links:

East London:

triangleDonate to the Socialist Party building fund

triangleEast London Socialist Party: How do we defeat academies in Newham?

triangleMajority of kids poor in some areas

triangleHeating scandal on east London estate

trianglePacked Newham meeting against academies


triangleNorth London Socialist Party: Save our NHS - the lessons of the Barts strike

triangleNHS we're ready to fight

triangleSustained mass movement needed to stop Tories wrecking our NHS

triangleSerco - not fit for purpose


triangleDLR cleaners and security staff strike

triangleVictory for school cleaners!

triangleHackney school cleaners strike


triangleCampaigners continue to demand Chorley A&E is fully reopened

triangleSocialist Party congress 2018

John McDonnell:

triangleMcDonnell says Labour would put services 'irreversibly' in workers' hands

Len Hockey:

triangleDeal concludes Barts health strike - "We have raised our heads high"

Socialist Party:

triangleYork Socialist Party: Building and financing a revolutionary party


triangleHackney Socialist Party: The Left Opposition's fight against the rise of Stalinism in Russia


triangleGroundswell of opposition to high-rise development


triangleRussia, spies and nerve agents

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns


Socialist Party

Socialist Party congress 2018



Strike continues: set dates for next national action


Socialist Party

Members dig deep into their pockets to support the party


North West

Campaigners continue to demand Chorley A&E is fully reopened



Swansea Labour council votes for cuts



Derby public meeting: Women's Lives Matter



Seeing-off the bigoted, billionaire toff!



Continuing the fighting tradition of working class women



Workplace news in brief



Leicester: Blairites block Labour Party democracy



Leaked pay deal: fight for a genuine pay rise



We feel that we will win - a striker speaks



Woolwich ferry workers win automation campaign



UCU strike: bosses on the run



Salford nurseries consultation delayed

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...

Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube



Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777


Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551



Alphabetical listing

March 2018

February 2018

January 2018