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09
Oct

Hospital workers allege bribery at GWH


Lawyers have confirmed that 49 housekeeping staff at the Great Western Hospital (GWH) are pursuing claims in an employment tribunal.

Lawyers have confirmed that 49 housekeeping staff at the Great Western Hospital (GWH) are pursuing claims in an employment tribunal, following allegations of race and religious discrimination, harassment and victimisation by their employer Carillion, according to a reports in the Guardian, Swindon Advertiser and Morning Star.

The staff members all of Goan origin and claim they were subjected to a culture of intimidation and fear at the GWH. They say managers demanded ‘gifts’ from non-white staff including cash, jewellery, cigarettes and alcohol for ‘favours’ such as granting holiday and overtime requests, allowing staff to remain in post and generally refraining from further prejudicial treatment.

A spokeswoman for Carillion said they have investigated the allegations and concluded that gifts have been given in exchange for favours from managers.

Bindmans LLP lawyers Shah Qureshi, Emma Webster and Peter Nicholson told the Swindon Advertiser that the claims are being brought against a backdrop of a complex industrial dispute between members of the union GMB and Carillion.

Qureshi said: “My clients allege that there was a system adopted by some managers whereby mainly Goan workers could not get overtime or holiday without bestowing gifts on them.

“They also allege that those that did raise their heads above the parapet and complainwere victimised with the threat of disciplinary action.

“This type of scenario is akin to the ‘master and servant’ relationship of Victorian Britain and should have no place in the 21st century.”

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