Security guards, porters and post room staff went on strike from 7.30am today for 5 days, alongside caterers and cleaners at the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy who are already on indefinite strike over pay.
Contracted out workers at BEIS have been locked in a 9-month battle over the London Living Wage and poor working conditions.
Now cleaners working for private contractors ISS and caterers working for Aramark have been joined by other ISS workers in security, porterage and the post room for 5 days, in a major escalation of strike action.
As usual, the picket line outside 1 Victoria Street in London was lively with music and vuvuzelas. There was a great turnout with between 40 and 50 members.
Guest speakers included MP Chris Matheson, along with PCS National President Fran Heathcote, and national vice presidents Zita Holbourne and Martin Cavanagh. They all expressed their solidarity with the strikers in their fight for decent pay and conditions. Fran again emphasised that the strikers had the full support of PCS in their campaign.
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said: “The bravery and determination of these BEIS workers cannot be underestimated.
“Porters, security and post room staff are striking for 5 days in solidarity with caterers and cleaners who are on indefinite strike.
“This is a major push to make contractors and BEIS ministers realise that they have to deal with this situation, pay our members the London Living Wage and ultimately bring these key services back in-house.
“BEIS and the contractors need to understand that we will not rest as a union until we have a just settlement.”
On Thursday and Friday, picket lines will be on throughout the day and members are encouraged to attend and show their support.