Staff at three Lancashire hospitals to be balloted for strike action over outsourcing plans

Workers at three Lancashire hospitals have begun balloting for strike action in a dispute over plans to outsource their jobs to a wholly owned subsidiary company.  
Unite members, who are employed by Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, have been threatened by the plan to transfer their jobs in estates, maintenance, catering, portering and sterile services to WWL Solutions Limited. 

Workers fear if the trust was taken over by the subsidiary company, it would leave staff vulnerable to cuts to their pay, and terms and conditions. 

The ballot for industrial will close on Wednesday 9 May. If workers support industrial action then strikes could begin by the end of May.
If strike action takes place then this could have a significant impact on services and result in all three hospitals closing down, claimed Unite. 

Unite regional officer Keith Hutson said: “These hardworking staff, who perform crucial roles in hospitals, are worried their terms and conditions will be attacked if the transfer goes ahead.  

“Our members are making it clear - they are not on board with this outsourcing plan. They want to remain part of the NHS trust – not a private company. 

“We urge the trust to get around the negotiating table and resolve this dispute."
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite regional officer Keith Hutson on 07798 531 005 and/or Unite communications officer Karen Viquerat on 07768 931 316 or 0151 559 2004.Email:

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.