7 June 2021

ISS outsourced workers in the heart of Whitehall fight back

This article comes from Facilities Matters issue 3

PCS members employed by ISS say enough is enough. Now is the time to be treated like our civil service colleagues.

PCS members employed by the facilities management contractor ISS at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have yet again voted by 97% for strike action. 

Many people will recall the historic strikes ISS workers led in 2019, not only undertaking the first ever indefinite strike action of outsourced workers in Whitehall, but crucially winning improved pay and terms and conditions. 

Despite civil service, and ISS’s statements that “Black Lives Matter”, the mainly black and migrant outsourced workers have not seen much evidence of that on the ground. As we have sadly seen across the economy, Black and migrant workers have borne the brunt of the negative effects of the pandemic, including devastating higher death rates. Despite the prime minister’s statement that cleaners and security guards are the heroes of the Covid crisis, PCS members are still battling to get basic Covid-19 safety measures. 

We think all key workers are heroes. Heroes deserve to be safe, to be paid properly, to have job security and not be treated as second-class workers. That is why ISS members are fighting to end the two-tier workforce that plagues Whitehall and to be valued for their outstanding work throughout the pandemic.  

The government has called for a jobs-first recovery and a high wage economy. They could very easily lead by example and instruct ISS to do this but choose not too. ISS members are fighting back and saying loud and clear BLACK LIVES MATTER. 

To keep up to date with the dispute and how you can show support follow @BEIS_PCS_LS on Twitter.