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7 March 2011, 09:42
A 60-hour strike's underway involving cleaners at Southampton General Hospital.
It's the fourth time they've walked out in a row over their pay. The strike started at 6am on Monday morning (March 7th) and will last until 6pm on Wednesday 9th March 2011.
Members of UNISON argue that they’re not being paid the agreed NHS rates. So far meeting between the hospital’s management and the union have failed to come up with an agreement.
Andy Straker, Regional Organiser for UNISON said:
“The ability to end this long running and bitter dispute is in the hands of trust management. I have been told by the chief executive and the trust board that they value their cleaning staff and that they are a pivotal cog in the running of the hospital. Well, it is time to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk. Anybody can deliver fine words but all the time that the cleaners are treated differently to all other staff at the hospital then their words are worthless.
Our members are prepared for the long haul in this dispute and are prepared for longer bouts of industrial action if that is what it will take to resolve the dispute. The trust owes their cleaners money, this is their opportunity to do the right thing and treat the cleaners fairly.”
The hospital says it has plans in place to make sure the wards are kept clean while the strike is taking place.