Support our ISS picket during state opening of parliament

The second day of a 36-day strike by low-paid PCS members working in three major government departments coincides tomorrow (7) with the "pomp and ceremony" of the state opening of parliament.

Around 100 PCS members employed as cleaners, security guards and support staff for the outsourced contractor ISS at the Department for Energy Security and Net Zero, the Department for Business and Trade, and the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology are striking from November 1 to 17 and from November 27 to 15 December.  

The second picket line, from 8-10am in Whitehall Place, will coincide tomorrow with the formal opening of parliament, which includes the King’s Speech.  

It is expected that at least two MPs (John McDonnell and Mary Glindon) will attend the picket to express their solidarity with our members. PCS deputy president Martin Cavanagh will also attend on behalf of the union’s national executive committee. 

Pomp and ceremony 

While PCS members are struggling to pay their bills, other areas of government are spending millions on lavish ceremonies.  

Tom, a rep who will lead the ISS picket tomorrow, says that these “hard-working members keep our buildings safe, secure and clean”. 

“The contrast between our members fighting for a fair settlement in a cost of living crisis and the millions being spent by government departments on the pomp and ceremony of the state opening of parliament couldn’t be clearer,” Tom adds. “There is always money for those at the top and never a fair deal for those at the bottom.” 

Further picket lines to those detailed below will be announced unless ISS are able to end this dispute with an increased pay offer, a commitment to better terms and conditions, and recognition of PCS as our members’ trade union. 

Show your support  
  • Visit the picket lines on 7, 9 and 15 November at 3-8 Whitehall Place (8:00 -10:00); and 16 November at 1 Victoria Street (8:00 -10:00).  
  • Donate to the ISS strike fund using account number 20331490 sort code: 60-83-01, account name PCS Fighting Fund Levy (please use ISS as the reference).  
  • Sign the petition to the chief executive of the Government Property Agency.  
  • Send messages of support to  

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