Frances O’Grady joins Interserve strikers

Striking contracted-out staff working for Interserve at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office will today receive a boost twhen they are joined on the picket line by TUC general secretary Frances O Grady.

PCS members are taking one month’s strike action in a dispute over union recognition. The maintenance and cleaning staff have been in dispute with Interserve over terms and conditions since March last year.

Union reps in the FCO have faced intimidation by Interserve, who are threatening disciplinary action for carrying out lawful trade union duties and encouraging members to take action.

PCS secured a 100% “Yes” vote on a huge turnout which secured the mandate for the latest bout of stoppages.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “There is no better way to kick off Heart Unions week than the TUC showing solidarity with our strikers at Interserve. Our members are taking on an aggressive employer who have done everything they can to thwart a just settlement to this dispute.

“Instead of negotiating properly, they have been accused of threatening our reps who have a mandate and are lawfully encouraging people to go on strike.

“We call upon the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to intervene in this dispute and for the government to put an end to contracting out of services within government departments by bringing them back in house.”

Progress was made in July where the union suspended industrial action in favour of talks with the employer through ACAS.

However with a deal in sight and after agreeing a bargaining unit of those members who had been in dispute, Interserve turned on PCS members by adding other members of staff who had not been involved in dispute and scuppered the possibility of union recognition.

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