Unite is to step up strike action at the Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, in a dispute concerning outsourcing.
The workers who include electricians, plumbers, fitters, porters and cleaners, are employed at Wrightington Hospital, Wigan’s Royal Albert Edward Infirmary and Leigh Infirmary.
The trust is proposing that the workers’ jobs be outsourced to a subsidiary company WWL Solutions Ltd.
There will be a 24-hour strike beginning at 00:01 on Wednesday, June 27 and this will then be followed by five days of strike action beginning at 6am on Thursday, June 28 and concluding at 05.59am on Monday, July 3.
The extended strike action is likely to cause severe disruption throughout the various hospitals in the trust.
The first 48-hour strike took place on May 23 and 24 and this was followed by further strike action on June 8 to 10.
“These loyal and dedicated workers undertake a crucial role in keeping hospitals open and properly functioning,” said Unite regional officer Keith Hutson. “They are a core part of the NHS family and their jobs should not be hived off.
“Unite is not prepared to allow the jobs of its members to be sold off, which will inevitably lead to job cuts and attacks on the terms and conditions further down the line. There is absolutely no good reason for the NHS trust to be embarking on this course of action.
“Since the dispute began Unite has consistently made it clear that it is prepared to meet with employers in order to resolve the dispute but in order for talks to go ahead we need a commitment that there is a willingness to enter into meaningful negotiations.”
The workers recently met with Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, when he visited Southport.
Local councillors have called on unions and management to enter into negotiations; however Unite is not prepared to enter into peace talks unless the employers indicate a willingness to reconsider the proposals.