PCS members employed by beleaguered contractor Interserve at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are balloting for strike action following the company’s refusal to negotiate over redundancies, job cuts and attacks on sick pay.
A catalogue of issues concerning the cash-strapped compan,y ranging from cutting sick pay, to staff being tracked by GPS, redundancies and non-recognition of our union has driven our members working in the Foreign Office headquarters in London to ballot for strike action. The ballot which opened on Monday (25) finishes on 15 April.
The members working at the FCO’s “iconic” King Charles Street site, in Westminster, are employed by Interserve, which has a new £67m contract to provide facilities management services to FCO. There had been mounting concern for the finances of the company in the last year but the government still accepted a bid by Interserve to run FCO services in August last year. Interserve went into administration earlier this month due to what chairman Glyn Barker described as “crippling” debts.
Those being balloted include carpenters, plumbers, electricians, handypersons, porters, cleaners and events managers. The wide-ranging dispute covers redundancies, withdrawal of full sick pay for some staff, contractual changes to pay dates, lack of union recognition, the introduction of biometrics and GPS tracking systems for workers, and poor treatment of cleaners.
Cleaners at the company have raised concerns about unclear contracts, shortages in holiday pay and the lack of back pay from increases they were due from August 2018.
PCS parliamentary group chair Chris Stephens has raised issues surrounding Interserve in parliament.