Hospital cleaners plan January strike

The cleaning service staff at the Vega Baja Hospital will go on strike on 10th January in protest over working conditions and contract issues. The decision was announced by the
CCOO Union and the independent union that make up the cleaning company committee at the hospital.
These issues are on-going and according to the CCOO complaint “the previous contracting companies have been reducing their staff numbers, which went from 85 people in 2012 to 64 today”.
This has caused workers to protest in recent years because of the reduction in staff “has an impact on workers resulting in greater workloads and complaints from the Hospital regarding poor services that ultimately affects all departments and the patients”.
Until now, complaints have been filed with the Labour Inspectorate and protests have been organised but the contracting companies have been delaying and there is still no solution.
Last August a new contractor was hired, however according to the union rather than things improving, they have gotten worse.
The Union claims that the new contractor got off to a bad start by firing one of the managers, then refused to cover medical leave or leave with the same hours which resulted in a loss of benefits for the workers. They then began to restructure the service provision. Currently, there are plans to fire about 12 more workers.
The current employer has also reneged on a previous agreement which has resulted in eight lawsuits which will go to trial in April. However, the Union claims that the contractor has stated that if the workers win it will automatically fire them, which will mean around 20 people losing their jobs.
“We cannot accept it and we cannot understand how the cleaning of a hospital can be reduced to half the number of people it required 10 years ago, when its surface has also increased, there are now more square meters than in 2012,” the Unions claim.
The Unions believe that in order to clean effectively, particularly with the Covid pandemic 85 dedicated to cleaners are required. There are currently 64 and the contractor intends to reduce this to 44.
The workers are calling for all leave to be covered with the same hours, that current agreements are respected, that the manager be reinstated and no one else be fired. If these conditions are not met then the strike will go ahead.