The facilities management staff at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have now been in dispute for almost a year.
The facilities management (FM) workers have been in dispute with their employer since March 2019, which has already involved 18 days of strike action over six periods in 2019. Whilst strike action has won some concessions, Interserve will not move on key issues such as union recognition and a buy-out on contractual pay date changes. This has led to this latest period of strike action which is due to continue for the whole of February.
Despite the cold weather the striking workers were out in force on the picket line this morning where they welcomed many visitors who came to show their support.
PCS president Fran Heathcote, PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady, John McDonnell, Jeremy Corbyn and at least 18 other MPs representing constituencies from across England and Scotland attended. Many London based PCS reps also came along to show their solidarity.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka accused Interserve of “gerrymandering,” the recognition process which means no agreement can be reached.
He said: “Our members are taking on an aggressive employer that has done everything it can to thwart a just settlement to this dispute.
“Instead of negotiating properly, they have been accused of threatening our reps who have a mandate and are lawfully encouraging people to go on strike.”
He added that the staff were leading an “inspiring campaign” alongside other contracted out workers and urged the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to settle the dispute between the union and Interserve.
“We call upon the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab to intervene in this dispute and for the government to put an end to contracting out of services within departments by bringing them back in house,” he said.
How you can help