PCS members begin five-day strike at the Foreign and Common Office

Workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office today begin a five-day strike in a row over changing pay dates, union recognition, and the London Living Wage (LLW).

Interserve which employs the staff at the FCO has refused to recognise PCS and the majority of staff have not been paid since April 28 due to bosses changing pay dates. To add insult to injury, Interserve bosses are still not paying the 2019 LLW rate to staff.

Interserve also claims it has employed more staff overall on the contract but recently admitted to the union that the additional staff were employed on FCO premises in Europe, and not in the UK.

Despite last ditch talks last week to avert strike action, this week’s strikes will mark the third round of stoppages by low paid, mainly migrant, workers.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has come in for criticism for his handling of the dispute, appearing not to be aware of the situation facing staff at his department when questioned in Parliament last month.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “It is an absolute disgrace to see many of our members not being paid since the end of April, due to the incompetence and neglect of Interserve.

“This strike shows the strength and determination of our members to stand up to a contractor who refuses to recognise the union and to be paid the correct wage on time.

“We are still open to talks and resolving these important outstanding issues. However Interserve bosses should be left in no doubt that our members are ready for this strike and are determined to win.”

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