Great support for first day of Interserve FCO strike

01 May 2019

A May Day strike by PCS members working for outsourcer Interserve at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office has received strong support from our NEC, politicians and the labour movement.

Our members are striking for 2 days following the company’s refusal to negotiate on redundancies, contractual changes to pay dates, and attacks on holiday pay and sick pay.

Members are angered by Interserve for making workers redundant, creating more work for those who remain, imposing detrimental changes to terms and conditions and refusing to negotiate with PCS reps.

100% of members are on strike today and the picket line outside the FCO building in London was well supported with visits by MPs Chris Stephens (PCS parliamentary group chair) and Hugh Gaffney, PCS acting president Fran Heathcote, PCS assistant general secretary Chris Baugh, PCS NEC members, PCS branch reps, Hackney Labour party, regional TUC and a UCU member who refused to cross the line. There was also a lot of public interest and generous donations.

The strikers are also taking part in the annual May Day march and rally, along with members from Ealing tax office, who recently held a series of walkouts to oppose the closure of their office.

PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “Workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are striking because they will not stand by while a failing company like Interserve attacks their terms and conditions and at the same time, refuses to negotiate with their union.

“Staff have told us that changes to their pay dates have left them out of pocket and struggling to make ends meet.

“The whole debacle shows that Interserve should never have been awarded the contract at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

“Ministers cannot escape the blame for this disgraceful situation. They should have learned from the disaster at Carillion that contracting out doesn’t make sense financially.

“All of these jobs at the FCO and elsewhere must be safeguarded and brought back in-house as soon as possible.”

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.

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