Blackpool hospital workers are to go on strike for six days later this month.
Around 300 staff employed by private contractor Compass at Victoria Hospital will walk out on alternate days from Monday, October 14 in their latest round of action over Compass' failure to match health service pay rates and working conditions.
Their union UNISON says that most of the hospital cleaners, caterers, porters, receptionists and security workers affected are paid only the minimum wage rate of £8.21 an hour, yet work alongside colleagues who are employed directly by the NHS, where the lowest rate is £9.03 an hour.
The difference of 82p an hour is worth around £1,500 a year for full-time staff, the union claims.
UNISON regional organiser Pat Woolham said: “Hospital staff have asked their employer for one thing – fairness. Compass workers can’t reasonably be expected to give their all while working alongside colleagues who are being paid more than them."
The latest round of action is the fourth by the hospital workers, following a one-day strike on July 31, a two-day strike which began on August 27 and a three-day strike which began on September 17.
UNION says that the six days of strike action will taking place on alternate days will cause the 'catering behemoth' (Compass) a headache.