Sodexo staff at St Mary’s Hospital host protest in pay dispute


Porters and cleaners based at St Mary’s Hospital and employed by food services and facilities management organisation Sodexo are hosting a protest picnic today (Wednesday 19 June 2019) in relation to an ongoing pay dispute.

The Paddington-based staff, who are members of the trade union GMB, will hold the protest picnic between 12pm and 2pm, outside the main gates of St Mary’s Hospital.

According to GMB, the dispute regards a two-tier wage system, which sees the majority of Sodexo’s staff paid at the national living wage rate of £8.21 an hour. The trade union argues, however, that a small portion are being paid £11 an hour for performing the same work.

The wage system impacts around 1,100 cleaners and porters employed by Sodexo at St Mary’s Hospital, Charing Cross Hospital and Hammersmith Hospital.

GMB is seeking equal, backdated wages for all employees and has refused Sodexo’s commitment to raise pay next year.

Michael Dooley, local official at GMB, said: “Anyone who has been in a London hospital knows what the cleaning staff and porters do, caring for patients or cleaning human waste, blood and vomit. Those visitors would be appalled to know that those hardworking staff are only paid the minimum wage.

“GMB intend to highlight the poverty pay by holding a well-deserved picnic for the staff outside the hospital in Praed Street, Paddington, on Wednesday 19 June. GMB protests will continue outside St Mary’s, Charing Cross and Hammersmith Hospitals in the Three Hospitals Pay Campaign.”

A spokesperson at Sodexo added: “Our bid for the new facilities management contract at Imperial NHS Trust proposes to pay the London living wage as the minimum pay rate from April 2020. If this is successful, we will pass this pay increase on to our teams.”