Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hillingdon Hospital Cleaners - Fightingback


One Day strike organised by COHSE and NUPE Domestics at Hillingdon Hospital 23rd May 1985. (100%) (pic below)

The strike was in protest at the hospital's privatisation programme and support with Barking hospital strikers.

Management asked them either to lose their bonus or be privatised. The staff voted overwhelmingly against cutting their bonus.

equally solid amongst white staff from Colham and Asian staff from Southall

In September 1985 at the civic centre, (pic below)the District Health Authority voted to privatise the service was privatised, with the loss of 213 jobs.

Private contractor started February 1st 1986 ICC Hospital services Ltd

Hillingdon was one of the first private contracts after St Helier, Hammersmith to be forced through by the Tories.

Of course this was only a dress rehearsal for the great Hillingdon Hospital cleaners strike ten years later.

A new company took over the contract, Pall Mall cleaning, who decided that it would be better--at least for its directors--if the pay of the domestic staff was reduced from about £3.50 to £2.50 an hour.

Fifty-five mainly Asian women members of UNISON (NUPE & COHSE having merged) decided that, on principle, it was not acceptable to have their pay reduced by about 30 % and went on strike on 1st October 1995 (pic first day of strike).

After an employment tribunal had finally ruled that they should receive maximum compensation and must be reinstated.

The now famous Hillingdon Hospital strike lasted five years and Malkiat Bilku the NUPE/UNISON Steward walked back into work on October 30th 2000 with Alan Keen MP, to the first day back at work.

Hillingdon Hospital Cleaners strike 1st October 1995 to 29th October 2000