Union sets up foodbank for agency workers at hospital

GMB union has set up a foodbank for agency workers at Queen Elizabeth Hospital who say they have gone without pay due to the implementation of a new remuneration scheme.

30 Apr 2019| News

Photo by Chuttersnap on Unsplash

The Morning Star reports that low-paid staff subcontracted through ISS – including cleaners and porters – typically live hand-to-mouth and have been left hungry after the employer decided to pay them fortnightly rather than weekly.

At a grievance meeting yesterday (29 April 2019), one worker said he had not been able to afford to eat for three days and another said they had been put on medication for anxiety and depression due to the stress of the situation.

GMB set up a food bank for agency staff on Friday, but there have since been reports that management had threatened to fire workers if they used the facility and one source said some people avoid attending grievance meetings because they are “fearful of retribution”.

The source told the Star the workers are unhappy with the employer’s handling of the situation.

“It’s like a joke to them and they don’t understand what we’re going through,” they said.