Security guards, porters, cleaners, catering and post room staff went on strike at 1 Vic Street on 22 January in a 24 hour walkout as part of their claim for the London Living Wage.
There was great support for the strike by the members involved. Cleaners walked out in the middle of their shift at 7am and four cleaners joined the union as they walked out. Another two non-members joined on the picket line instead of going into work.
The picket was exuberant, noisy and good humoured. The picket heard speeches from PCS acting president Fran Heathcote and PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, who promised full support from PCS. Labour MPs including Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell, Rebecca Long–Bailey (Shadow Secretary of State for BEIS), Laura Pidcok (Shadow Minister for Labour) and Angela Raynor (Shadow Secretary of State for Education) also attended the picket line. John McDonnell promised that a Labour government would bring the workers back in-house and pay the London Living Wage as a minimum. He pledged that the scandal of outsourcing and the eroding of workers' rights would end under a Labour government. The Green Party, RMT, FBU, TUC and War on Want also visited the picket line and gave messages of support.
The picket was followed by a lively and noisy march round Whitehall with support fellow strikers from the MoJ organised by United Voices of the World Union, who were on strike for similar demands.
Branch secretary, Kate James, thanked the members and vistors for their continued and vital support and said PCS will be demanding urgent meetings with the contractors Engie and Aramark to press them to pay the London Living Wage.
Please send messages of support to Leeds@pcs.org.uk and donations to the fighting fund to PCS 3rd floor, Town Centre House, The Merrion Centre, Leeds, LS2 8LY.