Workers at three Lancashire hospitals have begun balloting for strike action in a dispute over plans to outsource their jobs to a wholly owned subsidiary company.
Unite members, who are employed by Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, have been threatened by the plan to transfer their jobs in estates, maintenance, catering, portering and sterile services to WWL Solutions Limited.
Workers fear if the trust was taken over by the subsidiary company, it would leave staff vulnerable to cuts to their pay, and terms and conditions.
The ballot for industrial will close on Wednesday, may 9. If workers support industrial action then strikes could begin by the end of May.
If strike action takes place then this could have significant impact on services and result in all three hospitals closing down.
“These hardworking staff, who perform crucial roles in hospitals, are worried their terms and conditions will be attacked if the transfer goes ahead,” said Unite regional officer Keith Hutson.
“Our members are making it clear – they are not on board with this outsourcing plan. They want to remain part of the NHS trust – not a private company.
“We urge the trust to get around the negotiating table and resolve this dispute.”