Great start to latest PCS Interserve FCO strike

21 May 2019

There has been a great start to the latest 2-day strike by PCS members working for contractor Interserve at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office with a 100% of workers taking action and about 25 people on the picket line.

A number of PCS reps came to show their solidarity from the FCO, DWP and HMRC to our members who are striking over the company’s refusal to negotiate on redundancies, contractual changes to pay dates, and attacks on holiday pay and sick pay. There was also a lot of support today from FCO civil servants. 

The 2-day strike follows a previous, well-supported 2-day strike on 1 and 2 May. It is estimated that it cost Interserve £10,000 to partially cover the essential duties of the striking workers who provide services including facilities management, print room, porterage and cleaning, held at the start of the month.

This pressure, coupled with political pressure through questions asked in parliament of foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt, about the dispute brought Interserve to the table last Friday for last minute settlement talks. Unfortunately, Interserve did not make any concessions on the key demands of trade union recognition, holiday and sick pay.

A joint rally was due to take place at 11.30am today with striking ISS and Aramark members, who have started a 4-day strike today, which will be addressed by striking workers, Chris Stephens, chair of the PCS Parliamentary Group and Laura Pidcock, shadow minister for business, energy and industrial strategy. 

Representatives from the 3 sets of workers will attend PCS annual delegate conference tomorrow to observe conference and to speak at a fringe meeting in room 1c about how we can build union membership in outsourced areas.

How you can support the campaign

  • Join picket lines at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office from 7.30am to 10am tomorrow (22).
  • Urge your MP to sign early day motion 2346 in support of the strike which calls on ministers to intervene to secure jobs and to seriously consider bringing lnterserve contracts back in-house as a priority.
  • Send a message of support to helenf@pcs.org.uk
  • Donate to the strike fund.

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