Medical couriers transporting Covid-19 samples on behalf of NHS pathology contractor The Doctors Laboratory (TDL) have voted overwhelmingly for strike action, in response to the company’s decision to make redundancies during the pandemic, and its failure to address health and safety concerns.
The IWGB union, on behalf of eight of its members who are being targeted for redundancy, has also filed a trade union victimisation and whistleblower victimisation claim. Almost all of the ten targeted workers had been demanding better and safer working conditions.
One of them, Alex Marshall, is a key organiser who blew the whistle on the company’s unsafe practices.
TDL, a subsidiary of Australian multinational Sonic Healthcare, is using the cover of the pandemic for this victimisation. TDL couriers have for the last two months been going into hospitals with a high concentration of Covid-19 patients to pick up Covid-19 samples and deliver them safely to pathology labs.
Despite repeated demands the company has not:
• Given full self-isolation pay to at-risk workers
• Regularly tested medical couriers for Covid-19
• Reinstated an unfairly dismissed courier with serious medical conditions
• Provided proper PPE to medical couriers
• Implemented social distancing where possible
TDL has more than enough money to do so.
The majority of the 152 TDL medical couriers in London and the South East are IWGB members.