ISS staff win London Living Wage at BEIS after months of indefinite strike action

21 Oct 2019

ISS staff working at BEIS have won “gold standard” terms and conditions, including the London Living Wage after 3 months of indefinite strike action.

PCS members employed by outsourcing contractor ISS at BEIS have won the “gold standard” in pay,  terms and conditions, including the London Living Wage of £10.55 an hour along with better terms & conditions, after many months of strike action.

Porters, security, post room, cleaners and receptionist staff have taken rolling strike action in the long running dispute which began with action against the previous contractor Engie in January 2019, and continued when ISS took over the contract in March 2019. Cleaners took the decision to take indefinite strike action for 3 months in order to win a just settlement.

In the longest ever indefinite strikes by outsourced workers in Whitehall, members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) won better pay, sick pay and increased annual leave following the action.

The agreement covers over 10 Government Department/Agency sites nationwide. There is also a commitment to extend the deal to other Government sites covered by the contract in April 2020.

PCS members working for catering contractor Aramark, who were also on indefinite strike, won their dispute last month.

The protracted dispute saw huge picket lines, a foodbank being set up in the department because of ISS failure to pay their staff properly, and solidarity from across the trade union movement.

Reacting to the win by workers at BEIS, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This has been a heroic effort by our members from start to finish.

“They have shown the entire trade union movement that when you stick together and strike together, anything is possible.

“Our members who are mainly migrant workers, have endured immense hardship with the local branch having to set up a food bank to support workers due to a payment error by ISS.

“ISS have been a very intransient employer and if wasn’t for the steadfastness of our striking members, they would not have won a just settlement.

“This whole episode underlines the clear need for all private contracted out staff in government departments to be immediately brought back in house and given civil service pay and conditions."

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