Workers at an NHS trust are to be balloted for industrial action in a row about consultation over job losses.
Members of the GMB union employed by Sodexo at Brighton and Sussex University Hospital NHS Trust, including cleaners, porters and workers who help feed patients, will vote next month.
The union accused the company of "deliberately avoiding" its statutory obligation to hold a 90-day consultation over redundancies by announcing that just under 100 posts are set to be cut.
The 90-day process kicks in when more than 100 redundancies are involved.
Gary Palmer of the GMB said: "Sodexo know that by seeking to implement unreasonable contract changes, rotas and working practices, this will lead to significant numbers of staff having no option but to leave."
A Sodexo spokesman said: "We can confirm that we are in consultation with union representatives following a staffing review.
"No definite decisions have been made and none will be made until that consultation is completed, but our intention is to explore every option available to minimise any potential redundancies.
"We appreciate that this is a difficult time with the holiday period approaching, but unfortunately the timing is unavoidable as our contract began this month and must be operating optimally as soon as possible.
"We understand that the GMB has expressed concern that patient safety will be put at risk. However, patient safety is our number one priority and we are working hard to ensure that services are not only maintained but improved."
What do you think? The Argus would like to hear from Sodexo worker concerned about job cuts and members of the public worried about the impact on hospital services.
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