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15.02.2022 / News /

Academics write open letter on the injunction against striking security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital

Over 180 academics have written an open letter expressing their solidarity with the striking Great Ormond Street Hospital security guards and calling for the the injunction taken by the hospital to be overturned.

As academics and others interested in work, employment relations and public policy, we are deeply concerned about the temporary High Court injunction (10 February) against the United Voices of the World (UVW) union to ban striking outsourced security guards at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and their supporters from “waving banners”, vigorous dancing” or even “making rapid dramatic movements” within 200 metres of the hospital. This unprecedented ruling is a serious assault on all unions and the right to strike, particularly worrisome if the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill becomes law.

The GOSH security guards, largely Black and migrant workers, are demanding parity with directly employed NHS workers. Along with health and social care workers, they were on the frontline during the pandemic going far beyond their normal tasks to assist with the hospitalisation of COVID-19 patients. Security guards were most at risk of dying from COVID-19. In particular, limited access to sick pay forced many symptomatic low paid workers into work during the pandemic, contributing to the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black and Minority Ethnic workers. Public services privatisation has created contractual hierarchies reproducing gender and racial divisions in the labour force. Significantly, the recent UVW vs Royal Parks’ judgment found that differential access to employment rights and benefits can constitute indirect race discrimination, breaching the Equality Act 2010.

Outsourced workers, represented by several unions have protested these injustices, notably at London universities and Government Departments. Striking facility workers at St Barts hospital, represented by Unite, are currently demanding parity and to be brought back in-house (Porters and cleaners at London NHS hospitals begin two-week strike, The Guardian 21.01.22).

Public authorities cannot now avoid the race and gender equality implications of outsourcing. We call on GOSH to recognise the sacrifices made by these workers during the pandemic, and rather than punish them for demanding basic rights, bring them in-house. On 16 February UVW returns to court for a full hearing – the injunction must be overturned.

Professor Sian Moore, University of Greenwich
Professor Phil Taylor, University of Strathclyde
Emeritus Professor Chris Baldry, University of Stirling
Professor Gargi Bhattacharyya, University of East London
Professor Andreas Bieler, University of Nottingham
Professor Liam Campling, Queen Mary University of London
Emeritus Professor Bob Carter, University of Leicester
Professor Linda Clarke, University of Westminster
Professor Christine Cooper, University of Edinburgh
Professor Richard Croucher, University of Middlesex
Professor Andrew Cumbers, University of Glasgow
Professor Ian Cunningham, University of Strathclyde
Professor Angela Daly, University of Dundee
Emeritus Professor Ralph Darlington, Salford Business School
Professor Rick Delbridge, University of Cardiff
Professor Tony Dobbins, University of Birmingham
Professor Tony Dundon, University of Limerick
Professor Keith Ewing, Kings College London
Honorary Professor Iain Ferguson, University of West of Scotland
Professor Chris Forde, University of Leeds
Visiting Professor Gregor Gall, University of Leeds
Professor Irena Grugulis, University of Leeds
Professor Jane Holgate, University of Leeds
Professor Debra Howcroft, University of Manchester
Emeritus Professor Jeff Hyman, University of Aberdeen
Professor Phil James, University of Middlesex
Professor Jean Jenkins, Cardiff University
Professor Laleh Khalili, Queen Mary University London
Professor David Lewis, University of Middlesex
Emeritus Professor Henry Maitles, University of West of Scotland
Professor Abigail Marks, University of Newcastle
Professor Miguel Martínez Lucio, University of Manchester
Professor Kirsty Newsome, University of Sheffield
Professor Joe O’Mahoney, Cardiff University
Professor Ozlem Onaran, University of Greenwich
Professor Andrew Perchard, Newcastle Business School
Professor Valeria Pulignano, KU Leuven
Visiting Professor Michael Rigby, London South Bank University
Emeritus Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, London School of Economics
Professor Miriam Ronzoni, University of Manchester
Honorary Professor Cilla Ross, University of Nottingham.
Professor Lorna Stevenson, University of St. Andrews
Emeritus Professor Paul Thompson, University of Stirling
Professor Steve Tombs, The Open University
Professor Wim Vandekerckhove, University of Greenwich
Professor Andrew Watterson, University of Stirling
Professor David Whyte, University of Liverpool
Professor Tessa Wright, Queen Mary University London
Aamer Anwar, Lawyer
Lord John Hendy, QC
Liz Fekete, Director, Institute of Race Relations
Jo Grady, General Secretary, UCU
Duncan Adam, Staffordshire University
Dr Gabriella Alberti, University of Leeds Business School
David J. Bailey, University of Birmingham
Dr Bruce Baker, University of Newcastle
Dr Ruth Ballardie, University of Greenwich
Dr Ioulia Bessa, Leeds University Business School
Dr. Findlay Bewicke-Copley, Queen Mary University
Dr Ruth Brown, University of East London
Dr Cassandra Bowkett, University of Manchester
Dr Minjie Cai, Greenwich Business School
Dr Callum Cant, University of Oxford
Dr Calum Carson, Leeds University Business School
Marian Carty, Goldsmiths University
Phil Chamberlain, University of Bath
Dr Uracha Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, University of London
Dr Joseph Choonara, University of Leicester
Dr Rachel Lara Cohen, University of London
Dr Mark Colpus, University of Greenwich
Dr Catherine Crawford, University of Essex
Dr Jo Cutter, Leeds University Business School
Dr Kendra Briken, University of Strathclyde
Dr Shiona Chillas, University of St. Andrews
Dr Jill Daniels, University of East London
Dr Steve Davies, Cardiff University
Peggy Powell Dobbins, University of Alabama, USA
Dr Markéta Doležalová, University of Leeds
Kirti Durelle, University College London
Simon Dye, University of Greenwich
James Eastwood, University of London
Dr Vaughan Ellis, Edinburgh Napier University
Dr Gail Faurschou, University of Alberta
Janet Feather-Moore, Leeds University Business School
Alfredo Saad Filho, King’s College London
Claudia Firth, Ravensbourne University
Dr Katy Fox-Hodess, University of Sheffield
Ross Gibson, University of Strathclyde
Dr Sarah Gilmour, Cardiff University
Dr Deepa Govindarajan Driver, University of Reading
Dr Janna Graham, Goldsmiths University
Dr Ian Greenwood, University of Leeds
Bianca Griffani, Goldsmiths University
Dr Juan Grigera, King’s College London
Dr Jane Hardy, Independent researcher and author
Dr Kate Hardy, University of Leeds
Alan Harrison, Brunel University
Dr Ruth Herd, Imperial College London
Dr Eva Herman, University of Manchester
Dr Marion Hersh, University of Glasgow.
Dr Andy Higginbottom (retired), Kingston University
Dr Daryl Hodge, University of Liverpool
Dr Stirling Howieson, University of Strathclyde
Dr Patrick Huff, Associate Lecturer, Birkbeck
Dr Bee Hughes, Liverpool John Moores University
Mariya Ivancheva, University of Strathclyde
Rebecca Jiggens, University of Leeds
Dr Mathew Johnson, University of Manchester
Dr Remi Joseph-Salisbury, University of Manchester
Kyran Joughin, University of the Arts
Dr Simon Joyce, Leeds University Business School
Dek Keenan, University of Strathclyde
Dr Susan Kelly, Goldsmiths University
Dr Rhian Keyse, Birkbeck, University of London
Dr Elinor Kirk, University of Glasgow
Louise Kowalska, Ruskin Alumni
Sharon Lambley, University of Greenwich
Dr Jane Lethbridge, Public Services International Research Unit, University of Greenwich
Rhiannon Lockley, Birmingham City University
Dr Nivi Manchanda, Queen Mary, University of London
Carol McCallum, Leeds University Business School
Dr Darren McGuire, University of Strathclyde
Dr David McKee, University of Strathclyde
Dr Mohammad Majid al-Rifaie, University of Greenwich
Dr Joyce Mamode, Queen Mary University London
Dr Stefania Marino, University of Manchester
Dr Douglas Martin, University of Central Lancashire
Dr Yassamine Mather, University of Oxford
Dr Marian Mayer, University of Bournemouth
Dr Renata Medeiros, Cardiff University
Dr Alessandra Mezzadri, SOAS
Jed Moore, University of Strathclyde
Dr Carlo Morelli, University of Dundee
Dr Stephen Mustchin, University of Manchester
Kerem Nisancioglu, SOAS
Dr Liz Oliver, Leeds University Business School
Dr Kirsteen Paton, University of Glasgow
Dr Brian Patton, University of Strathclyde
Dr Davide Però, Nottingham University Business School.
Dr Harry Pitts, University of Bristol
Paul Prior, University College London
Dr Christina Purcell, Manchester Metropolitan University
Dr Sterling Rauseo, University of Greenwich
Dr Cara Reed, Cardiff University
Dr James Richards, Heriot-Watt University
Dr Michael Richardson, University of the West of England
Dr Alan Roe, University of Leeds
Dr Nataliya Rumyantseva, University of Greenwich
Dr Melahat Sahin-Dikmen, University of Westminster
Barbara Samaluk, University of Ljubljana
Dr Kyla Sankey, University of Greenwich
Dr Meenakshi Sarkar, Leeds University Business School
Dr Tanya Serisier, Birkbeck, University of London
Roddy Slorach, Imperial College London
Dr Andrew Smith, University of Sheffield
Dr Holly Smith, University of Manchester
Jane Speare, University of Greenwich
Mark Stringer, Birkbeck, University of London
Dr Alex Stroleny, University of Greenwich
Dr Anthony Sullivan, London College of Fashion
Dr Graham Symon, University of Greenwich
Dr Safak Tartanoglu-Bennett, University of Greenwich
Dr Huw Thomas, University of Bristol
Dr Robert Topinka, Birkbeck, University of London
Dr Alan Tuckman, Fellow, University of Keele
Dr Charles Umney, University of Leeds.
Maria Vasquez-Aguilar, City Lit
Heather Wakefield, University of Greenwich
Rupert Waldron, London College of Fashion
Sean Wallis, University College London
Tracy Walsh, University of Hertfordshire
Dr Vera Weghmann, University of Greenwich
Saira Weiner, Liverpool John Moores University
Dr Xanthe Whittaker, Leeds University Business School
Dr Richard Wild, University of Greenwich
Dr Kalpana Wilson, Birkbeck, University of London
Dr Alex J. Wood, Work, University of Bristol
Dr Jamie Woodcock, The Open University
Kayleigh Woods Harley, Birkbeck University of London
Dr Patrick Yarker, University of East Anglia
Andreas Zaunseder, University of Aberdeen
Luciana Zorzoli, Cardiff University.
Steve Ballard, Haringey TUC and secretary of London Hazards Centre
Cecily Blyther, UCU NEC Rep for Casualised Members in FE
Chris Jones, Chair Wales FESC
Dr. Ian Manborde, Equality & Diversity Officer, Equity
Dr Fenella Porter, RED Learning Co-operative
Dr Dave Smith, Blacklist Support Group
Dr Marcela Pizarro Coloma, Northwestern University

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