A group of terrifying 'santa pigs' will descend on hospitals in south east London to protest the treatment of staff.

The union for hospital staff, GMB, will be sending the pigs to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Woolwich and to Bethlem Hospital in Beckenham on Tuesday, December 19.

The protest is over the treatment of cleaning and security staff by private contracting company ISS.

ISS employs hospital cleaning, portering and security staff at hospitals across the UK since 1984.

GMB, a union with 639,000 members, said hospital workers had reported being followed into the toilet and having their pay withheld.

Nadine Houghton, GMB organiser, said the company was using casual worker agreements.

She said said: "ISS are treating our members with contempt.

“They pay sometimes as low as £7.88 an hour. You try living off that in London.

“They are using what they call casual workers agreements, which leave our members in limbo.

“We're telling ISS it's time for them to treat their workers with more dignity and respect - and stop taking the *ISS."

An ISS spokeswoman said they were disappointed at the protest. 

She said: "The grounds on which the demonstration is being organised is flawed and not factually correct.

"ISS pays the same rate of pay as the NHS; we have no zero hour contracts and the NHS terms and conditions apply to the majority of our employees in this sector.

"The recent employee survey returned scores in the upper quartile for engagement and empowerment, showing our employees clearly have a different view of ISS than the GMB who have a very small level of membership, behind Unite and Unison the largest union in our healthcare business.

"The focus of ISS has been to minimise the disruption on the hospitals and their patients through using additional resources from other Healthcare teams."