Mick Lynch joins striking hospital cleaners as bins overflow on wing

By Charlotte Lillywhite, Local Democracy Reporter

Overflowing bins have been spotted on a hospital wing after a week of strikes, a union official has claimed, which RMT’s Mick Lynch joined at the weekend.

Members of the GMB union who work for outsourcing giant Mitie at St George’s Hospital in Tooting walked out from June 20 to 26 in a dispute over pay.

The union claimed that a staffer, who did not wish to be named, took a photo of the bins on a hospital wing on Monday morning after seven days of strikes from outsourced cleaners and hostesses.

Helen O’Connor, regional organiser at GMB, tweeted the photo and said it was a “concerning and chaotic sight”. Mitie and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said “high standards” of cleanliness have been maintained at all times in the hospital and services have been unaffected.

The trust added that it is looking into photos being shared on social media.

Ms O’Connor said GMB wants staff contracts to be taken back in-house “for good” by the NHS trust. She warned there could be further strike action if the dispute is not resolved.

She said that the RMT union’s Mick Lynch visited the picket line at the hospital on Sunday and gave his support to members. St George’s says clinical services have been “unaffected” by the strike and is asking patients to attend hospital as usual.

A spokesman for St George’s said: “The trust offered to join and facilitate talks with GMB and Mitie which was sadly refused by GMB. We are looking into images being shared on social media.”

A spokeswoman for Mitie said: “Claims that previous industrial action has had an impact on our services are incorrect. High standards of hygiene have been maintained at all times, particularly in clinical areas.”

Pictured top: left, an overflowing bin at St. George’s hospital, right, Mick Lynch at the GMB protest (Picture: Helen O’Connor)




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