ISS workers in Whitehall to take strike action

In a test of the new government, workers in Whitehall voted for strike action over pay in a ballot that closed yesterday (8).

PCS members, employed by outsourced facilities company ISS as cleaners, security guards and other key workers at the Department for Energy and Net Zero (DESNZ) in Whitehall, have voted to take strike action over pay.

The members will strike for five days from 22 to 26 July. This includes the last two days that parliament sits before going into recess for the summer, when ministers and senior civil servants will be in the buildings.

The pay claim submitted in January covered pay, improvements in terms and conditions to move towards alignment with civil servants employed by DESNZ (inside the buildings they secure and clean) and compensation for a change in pay anniversary date.

The strike is intended to put pressure on the incoming Labour government to bring these members in-house (i.e. become part of the civil service) when the current contract with ISS ends in April 2025, testing Labour's "good jobs" agenda.

PCS general secretary Fran Heathcote said: "This is our first ballot result since the election of the new government and gives Labour an early chance to deliver one of their manifesto pledges – the insourcing of public contracts.

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