Victory in Wales follows unanimous vote for strike action

Staff at NHS private contractor halt changes to their terms and conditions after 100% of members voted for strike action

Staff at a private contractor for the Welsh NHS managed to halt changes to their terms and conditions after all members voted for strike action.

The staff at Cofely (now called Engie), provide portering, catering, security, reception, housekeeping and cleaning staff to St. David’s Hospital in Cardiff.

The changes would have meant some workers losing hundreds of pounds per month due to cuts to hours and enhancements. Roles were to be merged and redundancies were threatened.

After the 100% strike vote their employers, one of the few private contractors in the Welsh NHS, backed out of changes and formally recognised UNISON for collective bargaining.

UNISON regional organiser Jess Turner said: “Members’ determination was inspiring. They were furious at being treated in such a callous manner.

“We supported new female stewards with training during our organising campaign and their fantastic efforts helped to quadruple our membership.

“You can’t get a more powerful signal than a 100% vote for strike action and that forced Cofely to sign a recognition agreement with us and the threats to terms and conditions were withdrawn.

“The energy of the new members has reinvigorated the branch and they are a real asset to UNISON.”