Foreign Office staff go on strike for union recognition 

07 Nov 2019

Contracted-out staff working for Interserve at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have started another round of strikes today (7) in a row over union recognition.

PCS which represents the maintenance and cleaning staff have been in dispute with Interserve over terms and conditions for several months. Strike action will take place on 7, 8, 11 and 12.

Progress was made in July where the union suspended industrial action in favour of talks with the employer through Acas.

However, with a deal in sight and after agreeing a bargaining unit of those members who had been in dispute, Interserve turned on PCS members by adding other members of staff who had not been involved in dispute and scuppered the possibility of union recognition.

Interserve bosses also stand accused of attempting to break strikes by hiring agency staff to cover the roles of striking members, something which is entirely illegal.

We have written to the Metropolitan Police asking for them to look into the issue.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: "Interserve have done everything they can to thwart a just settlement to this dispute. There is a deal where PCS would be recognised and could negotiate improvements to working conditions of staff.

"Yet Interserve have left our members no choice but to take strike action.

“We call upon the foreign secretary to intervene in this dispute and to put an end to contracting out of services within government departments by bringing them back in-house.”

You can show your support by:

  • Completing the e-action, which generates a letter to the Foreign Secretary asking for his intervention in this debacle. Government ministers are responsible for how staff are treated on their premises, whether directly employed by the civil service or not.
  • Visiting the workers on picket lines at the FCO on 7, 8 and 12 November, from 7.30am – 11am, King Charles Street, London
  • Following the branch twitter account @pcsfco and regional account @pcsl_se for further updates.

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