Socialist Worker

Civil service workers cue up new strikes

by Nick Clark
Issue No. 2662

Beis workers on strike in June

Beis workers on strike in June (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Action by outsourced workers at government departments is spreading.

Cleaners at HMRC tax offices in Bootle and Liverpool were set to strike next week. The members of the PCS union are demanding that bosses at outsourcing company ISS pay them at least £10 an hour.

Their strike, on Monday and Tuesday of next week, is the latest in a growing string of disputes by outsourced workers in the civil service.

Workers at the central London office of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Beis) were also set to strike from Monday of next week.

Cleaners and caterers at Beis will walk out indefinitely, in an escalation of their long battle over pay. And they’ll be joined by porters, security and post room workers who are set to strike for five days from Monday 22 July.

The Beis strikers want outsourcers ISS and Aramark to pay them the London Living Wage of £10.55 an hour.

They also demand equal terms and conditions with workers directly employed by the government and to ultimately be taken back in house.

Their action will follow a strike by workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on Monday and Tuesday of this week.

PCS members there are demanding that outsourcer Interserve recognises the union, and pays for changes to contracts that put workers in financial difficulties.

Join the Beis picket line as workers walk out. Mon 15 July, 12 noon. Beis, 1 Victoria Street, Westminster London.

HMRC cleaners will be on strike at Imperial Court and Regian House in Liverpool, and Litherland House and the Triad in Bootle


Museum strike vote

Workers in the Science Museum Group (SMG) have voted overwhelmingly for industrial action over pay.

Some 79.3 percent of those who voted backed strikes, while 94.8 percent backed action short of strike.The turnout was “well over the legal threshold”.

The museums in the dispute include the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester and the National Railway Museum in York, as well as London’s Science Museum.

Sharon Brown of the workers’ Prospect union said, “This is a very strong result in favour of industrial action and shows the strength of feeling within the Science Museum Group.”


DVSA strike ballot starts

Workers at the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) are balloting for strikes in a long-running dispute over working conditions.

The PCS union wants its members to vote for strikes against longer working days, lack of redundancy consultation, staffing shortages and increasing workloads. The ballot is set to end on Friday of next week.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.