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Breaking COVID19

Hospitial worker employed by private company ISS faces the sack after a dispute over PPE

A hospital worker employed by private company ISS faces the sack after a dispute over PPE.

The GMB member – who collects rubbish from Queen Elizabeth’s Hospital, in Woolwich – was told he wasn’t entitled to wear a face mask. He lives with his brother who is at high risk from coronavirus and told management he was concerned about contracting and transmitting the virus to his brother.

When he complained, ISS claimed they instigated disciplinary proceedings for ‘violent behaviour’ and that it had nothing to do with PPE. The company has so far failed to provide notes of the investigation meeting to the GMB as requested.

GMB organiser Helen O’Connor said: “It is simply staggering that a complaint about a lack of PPE in hospitals can lead to a worker being disciplined. Now more than ever employers should be doing everything in their power to ensure that hospital staff don’t contract or transmit the virus.

“They should be taking all steps necessary to assist the NHS to retain the staff needed to keep the hospital safe during this pandemic.

“GMB will vigorously protect members’ health and safety in the workplace where it is being threatened by poor practice. Any member who feels their health and safety is being put at risk though a lack of PPE should contact us immediately.

“We will continue to campaign for all these outsourced services to be brought back in house for good as it is becoming increasingly clear that private companies are failing in their duty of care to their workforce, the patients and the public.”