FCO Interserve staff to continue strike action

28 October 2019

From PCS

Facilities management workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have overwhelmingly voted for further strike action as part of the mandatory six month re-ballot.

On a magnificent 83% turnout, there was a 100% support for more strike action, sending a strong message to Interserve that these members want their demands met. Members’ meetings held in the closing days of the ballot agreed to call for further action on 7, 8, 11 and 12 November.

The outstanding demands of the dispute are:

  • Recognition of PCS for collective bargaining (negotiation) purposes in the FCO (and across all Interserve contracts)
  • Buy-out of contractual changes to pay
  • Return to monthly salaries not daily pay
  • Reinstatement of working hours for cleaners, on permanent contracts
  • Full company sick pay for all.

PCS wrote to senior executives in Interserve during the ballot, to ask to meet with them to seek a settlement to the dispute and to formally request union recognition. They refused on both grounds, and insist that members must place their trust in local managers – which is already broken from them.

Interserve has also stated that its “reputation remains solid”. This is hard to believe, given that the company has gone into administration and at the FCO Interserve is spending hundreds of thousands of pounds on strike breaking services.

How you can help

Following the huge victory of the recent BEIS strike, our Interserve members are asking for your help to keep the pressure up on the foreign secretary Dominic Raab and the permanent under secretary of the FCO Simon McDonald who are letting this dispute drag out on their premises. The very reasonable demands could easily be settled, and it is now time for these senior figures to intervene.

You can show your support by:

  • Completing the e-action, which generates a letter to the Foreign Secretary asking for his intervention in this debacle. Government ministers are responsible for how staff are treated on their premises, whether directly employed by the civil service or not.
  • Visiting the workers on picket lines at the FCO on 7, 8 and 12 November, from 7.30am – 11am, King Charles Street, London
  • Following the branch twitter account @pcsfco and regional account @pcsl_se for further updates.

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