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Christmas pay chaos for hospital workers
A union is demanding action after hundreds of hospital workers were left with little or no pay over Christmas.
Staff working for private company Sodexo have been left worrying about bills, bank charges and supporting their families because of delays in getting their wages.
These include catering, cleaning and portering workers.
Staff are supposed to be paid each Friday and the GMB union says there have been problems for three weeks.
On Friday and Saturday workers queued at the Sodexo office in the Royal Sussex for emergency cash payments.
Staff told The Argus that at one point the money ran out.
The problem is believed to have been caused by technical issues which are being worked on.
GMB regional organiser Gary Palmer said hundreds of staff have been affected.
He said: “Our members are obviously very upset.
"It is bad enough to have this problem at any time but it is even worse at this time of year.
“I have been informed by some members they didn’t have enough money for Christmas while others are now worried because we are at the end of the month and they are worried about their bills.
“They are upset and also very angry and are worried this is going to happen again next week.
"Some have either not been paid at all while others are not getting overtime and others are being paid the wrong rate.
“We are asking for reassurances that this will be resolved.”
Several Sodexo workers who contacted The Argus said morale was low.
One member of staff, who asked not to be named, said: “Everyone is so upset. It’s not a good situation.”
A spokeswoman for Sodexo said: “Due to employee confidentiality we do not comment on individual pay issues.
"However, we have set up a dedicated payroll clinic on site to resolve any matters urgently and would urge anyone affected to contact us directly.”
The GMB is balloting its 300 members who work for Sodexo over industrial action in a row over potential job losses.
If members agree, there could be a walk-out as early as the middle of January.