Solid backing for day one of five-day strike by Interserve workers

10 Jun 2019

The rain fails to dampen the spirits of strikers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

Today was the fifth day of action by mainly low paid, migrant workers in a dispute covering numerous issues including an imposed change in pay date which means they have not been paid since the 28 April, being paid the London Living Wage at the incorrect 2017/18 rates, job cuts and trade union recognition. A foodbank was set up on the picket line to support the workers who are struggling to make ends meet.

Interserve has spent over £150,000 hiring extra security guards to escort the workers covering some of the strikers’ duties because they do not have the necessary level of security. This doesn’t include the amount spent on the wages of the workers brought in.

FCO leadership week began today, and our picketers were asking why the Foreign Secretary hasn’t bothered to show some leadership and intervene in the dispute. Jeremy Hunt recently said to parliament that he would take personal responsibility to resolve the pay problems but as yet has not responded to correspondence from PCS.

The strikers have received a tremendous support from directly employed FCO staff, including the Ambassador for Morocco. Today’s strike was also covered by the Daily Mirror and the Times. Strikers received a message of support from the national Fire Brigades Union and were visited by PCS reps from the DWP and National Gallery.

Strikers will visit parliament tomorrow (11) to lobby their MPs directly after the picket line. We welcome support on the picket line from Tuesday-Thursday but particularly encourage trade unions to attend with their union banners and flags on Wednesday 12 June for our Trade Union Solidarity Day, when PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka will address the strikers at 8:45, followed by a photo opportunity.

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