October 19, 2021
Business News

More than 125 cleaning staff at University Hospital Waterford to go on strike today

More than 125 cleaning staff at University Hospital Waterford are to go on strike today in a row with their employer Momentum Support over working conditions.

The workers were previously employed by ISS facility services company but moved to Momentum Support in September 2019 with their terms and conditions protected under the Transfer of Undertakings Directive and Regulations (TUPE).

However, the Unite trade union is accusing the company of now trying to undermine the conditions of the workers, some of whom have worked at the hospital for more than 20 years.

“Our members have suddenly found themselves assigned to different work areas and tasks without either consultation or explanation, contrary to long-standing practice at the hospital,” Unite Regional Officer Tony Kelly said.

“They have been forcibly moved to different areas because they refused to take up duties that are specific to other employees and are paid at a higher rate and attract different allowances.

“These duties include the emptying and collection of bins, currently carried out by male staff due to physical requirements and paid at a higher rate in accordance with agreements between Unite and the former service provider.

“Our members are committed to the work they do to ensure that UHW provides a clean and safe environment for hospital patients and staff.  We are calling on Momentum to clean up its act and ensure that all its workers providing cleaning services in the hospital are treated equally and with respect.

“As matters stand, Unite members will be taking strike action, including the placing of pickets, starting at 7.30am,” Mr Kelly added.

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