Staff strikes next week are likely to cause "significant disruption" at St. George’s Hospital, according to the GMB Union.

Staff employed as cleaners and hostesses by outsourcing giant Mitie at the Tooting hospital will take their first three days of strike action on Monday, May 30 over pay and conditions.  

The Union states that the company caused anger when wages were withheld for seven weeks whilst they restructured pay cycles - shortly before announcing they had acquired telecom company 8point8 for £10 million. 

The planned three days of strike action will begin on May 30 for 24 hours, followed by a 48-hour strike on June 6 and June 7.

They will include a march and a rally as GMB members demand that the contract is taken back in house by St George's NHS Trust. 

Helen O’Connor, GMB Organiser, bemoaned the treatment of workers who put themselves at great risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said: “GMB members are furious Mitie has spent millions on taking over a new company whilst their own wages, terms and conditions are being driven into the floor.

"Their hard work has secured the contract for Mitie in St George’s hospital but all they experience is pay shortfalls and disruption.

"These workers have served the hospital throughout the pandemic at great risk to themselves and they care about their work and the patients.

"Our members want compensation for the hardship and suffering that Mitie have put them through by withholding wages and they want to all be on NHS contracts and have fair and equal terms and conditions.”

"Our members will have no option but to strike if the trust fails to come to the table to resolve this dispute.

“No one wants a strike in a hospital, but GMB has hundreds of angry members who are willing to do so.

“We anticipate significant disruption to cleaning and catering services in the hospital if the strike action goes ahead.”

A spokesperson for Mitie said: “We are disappointed with the decision to take industrial action.

"Our people are what make our business exceptional and we are proud to offer industry leading benefits.

"We have implemented a change to pay periods on this contract so that our colleagues can move from four-weekly to monthly paydays – a change that colleagues throughout Mitie have said is a significant improvement.

“We have measures in place to ensure that we continue to deliver these vital services to the Trust and maintain a clean and safe environment for patients and staff.”