Pickets from Interserve got the opportunity to speak to foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt on his way into work this morning.
There was a superb turnout on the picket line again on day two of the Interserve/Foreign and Commonwealth Office strike over pay and cuts to terms and conditions.
Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary and Tory party leadership candidate, had to walk past the striking PCS members on his way into work. The members on the picket line asked him for a meeting to resolve the dispute. He asked for a strike leaflet and said he would read it and consider our request. We hope that he will give our workplace representatives the opportunity to explain and provide evidence of the continuing pay blunders experienced by our Interserve workers and the importance of trade union recognition to them. We call on him as a potential leader of the country to show leadership in his own government this week.
The strikers are receiving some great support from the public with generous donations made to the food bank and bucket collections.
After picket duty, members walked to Westminster to hold a green card lobby and brief MPs. Members met with the vice chair and chair of the parliamentary group, Mary Glindon MP and Chris Stephens MP, as well as group member Hugh Gaffney MP. Former group chair Ian Lavery MP sent a message of solidarity, confirming his continued support for strikers.
At 1pm members assembled at Old Palace Yard for a group photo and were met by PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka as well as members of the shadow FCO team led by Emily Thornberry MP. She was accompanied by colleagues including Liz McInnes, John Spellar, Marsha de Cordova, Grahame Morris, Ian Mearns and Kelvin Hopkins. The MPs spoke with strikers and once again confirmed their continued support for members, with many hoping to attend picket lines in the coming days. They also agreed to try to raise the dispute through various parliamentary mechanisms in the coming weeks, including a letter to the secretary of state from the parliamentary group.
We encourage trade unions and supporters to join us with their banners and flags tomorrow (12) outside the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for our trade union solidarity day. PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka and TUC general secretary, Frances O’Grady will speak at 8.45 am.