HSE must take responsibility for company’s breach of industrial relations procedures
February 27th: Over 125 Unite members working for cleaning services provider Momentum at University Hospital Waterford remain on strike today (Thursday) following the overnight breakdown of talks at the WRC. The dispute centres around unilateral changes to workers’ conditions imposed by Momentum after it took over the provision of cleaning services at the hospital from ISS. Cleaning workers at the hospital transferred from ISS to Momentum under TUPE last September.
Pointing out that the company’s flagrant disregard for accepted industrial relations procedures is in conflict with the HSE’s own processes, Unite Regional Officer Tony Kelly called on the HSE to intervene in the dispute and remind Momentum of its obligations:
“By imposing unilateral changes, such as changes to shift patterns, without consultation Momentum has driven a coach and four through accepted industrial relations procedures. The company’s behaviour is contrary not only to usual procedures at University Hospital Waterford, but is also in conflict with the HSE’s own processes.
“Momentum’s intransigence led to talks at the WRC collapsing overnight and members will now discuss next steps in this dispute. Cleaning workers play a critical role in any hospital, and are determined to be treated with respect.
“The HSE bears ultimate responsibility for the behaviour of contractors in our health system, and I would urge them to intervene in this dispute and remind Momentum of its obligation to observe normal industrial relations procedures in its dealings with workers”, Tony Kelly concluded.