PCS calls for Secretary of State to intervene after BEIS employs strike-breakers

PCS members on strike at BEIS, June 2019

The PCS has called for Greg Clarke MP to intervene after agency staff were yesterday brought in on the second day of the union’s pay strike at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

The strike started on Monday, when catering and clearing staff walked out. They were joined yesterday by porters and security staff employed by contractors Aramark and ISS, who have refused to raise wages to the 2019 London Living Wage.

The union’s concerns that ISS might engage agency staff to try to break the strike were confirmed yesterday, with workers from Expeditious Security employed on the doors at department yesterday morning.

PCS had written to Expeditious Security when they heard this might happen, warning them not to engage in illegal strike breaking. An attempt to contact Expeditious by telephone at their published phone number was also made but so far there has been no response.

PCS industrial officer Denis Calnan said, “It is disgraceful that the Secretary of State for BEIS, whose department is in charge of employment matters, is allowing this illegal activity to take place at the department’s headquarters building.

“PCS calls on the Secretary of State to intervene immediately with ISS to stop this illegal strike breaking activity, and to also act to ensure that our members are paid the London Living Wage and bring this dispute to a just conclusion.”

The union says there was a “fantastic” turnout from members on the picket line yesterday, with around 50 strikers attending. Visitors to the picket line included Steve Hedley from the RMT and Labour MP Carolyn Harris. They both made supportive speeches and were warmly received by the strikers.

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