The feud between a private contractor and members of its staff at Kingston hospital will hit the City of London with a demonstration planned next week.

The GMB trade union representing the workers announced plans for a protest outside the ISS office space on Canary Wharf and said they would be bringing a 'giant inflatable rat' with them.

In a press release published Tuesday (February 12), GMB said: "A giant inflatable rat will feature as part of the picket to represent private companies like ISS taking over the NHS and creating a health hazard for hospital workers and patients by forcing their workers to go into work sick due to low pay and an inadequate sick pay schemes."

GMB represent cleaners, porters, caterers and security workers employed by ISS at Kingston Hospital.

In recent months they have protested at the hospital demanding that ISS pay them the Living Wage and an improved sick pay scheme.

Helen O’Connor, GMB Regional Organiser said: "GMB recognises that ISS workers from across London are also experiencing poor terms and conditions and we are encouraging them to join our picket line as part of our strategy to hold this employer to account. GMB members are angry at ISS and they will continue to fight for sick pay and the London living wage."

GMB says the sick pay scheme for ISS employees involved in the campaign requires them to accumulate sick pay 'credits' ahead of taking paid sick leave.

Last week, after one ISS employee at the hospital was reportedly made to work without sick pay after suffering a stroke, Steve Reed MP raised the issue at Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons (February 6).

Mr Reed, the Labour MP for Croydon North, repeated an accusation made earlier by GMB that ISS had attempted to stifle the feud by demanding that all political campaigning cease before it would recognize GMB union as the legitimate representative of its employees at the hospital.

In response, government spokesperson David Liddington MP (Conservative, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster) suggested that ISS could be in contempt of parliament if they had tried to prevent ISS staff from contacting their MP.

In previous statements concerning the issue published in the Surrey Comet, ISS said that it does not recognize GMB as the official representative of its employees at Kingston Hospital.

ISS insist that their workers there are represented by a different trade union, UNISON, and that all their employees are on sick pay schemes that compared favourably with other employers in this sector.

The planned demonstration will take place outside the South Quay Building on Canary Wharf at 9am, February 19.