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Vote For South London Aramark Strike

Friday, March 4, 2016

GMB Members Across 4 South London Hospitals Vote For Strike Action To Win £10per Hour, Sick Pay And Unsocial Hours Payments

With a profit of $1.4bn, multinational outsourcing provider Aramark can well afford to pay their staff a proper wage says GMB.

175 GMB members working as cleaners and hostesses for private contractor Aramark at South London and Maudsley NHS Trust voted 97% in favour of taking strike action to win a genuine living wage, suitable sick pay and unsocial hours payments.

Many of the staff who keep the four hospital sites clean and prepare and serve food to the patients are paid as little as £7.38 per hour and receive only 10 days of sick pay per year which is not paid in the first year of service or for the first 3 days of sickness.

The domestics and hostesses work at the Bethlem Royal Hospital in Beckenham, the Maudsley Hospital in Camberwell, the Ladywell Unit in Lewisham Hospital and Lambeth Hospital.

GMB members held demonstrations outside the Bethlem Royal and the Maudlsey on Tuesday 9th February 2016.

Nadine Houghton, GMB regional organiser said: "By voting in favour of strike action, our members have shown that they are serious about fighting for something that any worker should be entitled to: A wage they can live on and a sick pay scheme which ensures they won’t be forced into poverty as a result of falling ill.

Aramark make a profit by paying workers as little as possible. GMB members in SLAM are now saying enough is enough and that they should be rewarded properly for the work they do.

We will be meeting our members to discuss a somewhat revised pay offer from Aramark and to ask them to confirm whether strike action is still the appropriate next step towards fair conditions for Aramark workers.

Aramark is a $14.3 billion, American owned, multinational outsourcing provider. They can afford to pay their staff a proper wage."


Contact: Nadine Houghton on 07714239227 or Andy Prendergast on 07984492726 or GMB press office on 07970 863411 or 07739 182691

Notes to editors

1 GMB press release dated 25th August 2015

Strike Averted At South London Hospital As GMB Members Employed By Aramark Win Dispute Over Unpaid Holiday Pay

After Aramark got notice of an official ballot they agreed to reimburse the leave that had not been paid says GMB

Strike action by 21 GMB members working for Aramark has been averted at the Maudsley Hospital, part of South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, as the employer has agreed that they will be paid their full holiday entitlement. See notes to editors for copy of GMB press release dated 6th July 2015.

These 21 GMB members who work as hostesses and domestics at the Maudsley Hospital in Camberwell were facing a loss of annual leave through management's failure to allow staff to book their holidays appropriately.

Nadine Houghton, GMB regional organiser, said “Some members stood to lose up to 14 days annual leave entitlement as a result of not being able to book their annual leave despite numerous requests to do so.

Members were clear that they would not be cheated out of holiday that they are quite rightly entitled to so they decided to take action to stop Aramark robbing them of their hard earned leave.

The members returned a 97% vote in favour of industrial action in a consultative ballot. GMB then moved to a formal industrial action ballot. Upon receiving notice of an official ballot Aramark were quick to address the members concerns and agreed to reimburse the leave that had been lost.

Aramark is a huge multi-national company so for them to rob low paid workers of their terms and conditions is completely unacceptable. Fortunately GMB members working for them are well organised and are prepared to stand together meaning they didn’t have to accept this from their employer.”


2 GMB press release dated 6th July 2015


Aramark refuse to reimburse lost annual leave and wrongly blame workers for not requesting leave on time rather than blame their own mismanagement says GMB

GMB is to conduct an official ballot for strike action for members employed by Aramark at the Maudsley Hospital in Denmark Hill in South London. The ballot will open on Wednesday 15th July and will close on 29th July.

The dispute is over the failure to pay back annual leave lost as a result of the mismanagement of the leave booking system, imposition of an inflexible annual leave booking system and failure to pay weekend workers the correct annual leave entitlement.

These members are employed as cleaners, hostesses and catering staff by Aramark on an outsourced contract at the Maudsley Hospital. This is part of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust which provides mental health services for residents of Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham and Croydon.

Aramark Ltd, part of the $13 billion Aramark Corporation provides facilities services for hospitals and other institutions across the country.

Nadine Houghton, GMB regional Organiser, said “Hospital workers will take action to stop themselves being robbed of their holiday entitlement by their employer Aramark Ltd. 

GMB officials met with Aramark senior management on the 17th June to seek redress for cleaners, hostesses and catering staff who have lost out over 2 weeks annual leave entitlement. Aramark management refused to reimburse this lost annual leave blaming the workers for not putting their requests in on time.

GMB knows that workers made numerous requests for this annual leave. It was due to poor management that requests were consistently denied until the leave year ran out and staff were forced to lose what leave they had been unable to take.

Aramark's mission statement is 'deliver experiences that enrich and nourish lives - every day' and yet this massive organisation sees fit to rob low paid workers of one of the small benefits to their employment - annual leave to allow them to spend time with their families. They work hard every day for Aramark and the company repays them by robbing them of precious time to be with their loved ones.

It is an absolute disgrace that this has happened and as Aramark have refused to reimburse this lost holiday we have now notified the employer that we are in dispute and will be taking steps to ballot our members for industrial action."


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