UNION leader Asia Allison has warned that 'the gloves are off' as staff at Wexham Park Hospital prepare for a two day strike - and that more action over Christmas may follow.

A two day strike at Slough's Wexham Park Hospital and Ascot's Heatherwood has already been called for next Monday, November 18 lasting until early Wednesday.

But Ms Allison, who is regional organiser for the GMB union said: "Further strike action including over Christmas festive period is being discussed.

"We are also arranging a public march and demonstration in Slough City Centre in early December to continue to grow the fantastic rising support from both the general public and people who use the services in the area.

"Quite simply our members have drawn a line in the sand.

"GMB members are ready for a long fight and it's one we know we can't afford to lose."

The trouble has erupted over management plans to transfer 1,000 non-clinical staff including cleaners, caterers, housekeepers and security staff into a new company they insist would be wholly owned by the NHS.

But staff see it as privatisation that will threaten their working conditions and long term conditions..