PCS is balloting members who work for contractors Aramark and Engie, who supply support services, including catering and security, to the BEIS Department.
The companies are refusing to pay the London Living Wage, claiming that they need the agreement of BEIS to do so. The workers are also demanding occupational sick and holiday pay that is on a par with in-house BEIS employees.
The union has always strongly argued that the scandal of low pay and poor conditions is caused by outsourcing and we have been campaigning for some time to bring these services back in-house.
PCS members cannot support themselves on their current wages and will no longer tolerate inferior terms and conditions compared with in-house BEIS staff.
We are therefore left with no choice but to proceed to ballot members for strike action, with the aim of achieving the London Living Wage of £10.55, along with terms and conditions that match in-house BEIS staff, and ultimately to end outsourcing.
The ballot closes next Monday.