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From The Socialist newspaper, 31 July 2019

"BEIS: stop pISSing about and give outsourcing the boot!"

BEIS cleaners and caterers on strike, 29.7.19, photo by Paula Mitchell

BEIS cleaners and caterers on strike, 29.7.19, photo by Paula Mitchell   (Click to enlarge)

Paula Mitchell, London Socialist Party

Catering workers and cleaners, members of civil service union PCS, walked out on indefinite strike action on 15 July at the government's business department, BEIS. This bold action follows 14 previous days of strike action, fighting for the London living wage and decent terms and conditions.

For a week they were also joined by porters and security staff. The private companies who employ these workers, ISS and Aramark, are getting away with paying poverty wages, and the business department is happy to let it happen. Ironically, it is the job of BEIS to ensure employment standards in business!

Essential services

While striking for the London living wage, the workers all recognise that this strike is part of a fight to bring these essential services back in-house. The strikers want to keep the pressure up on their new boss Andrea Leadsom and on Boris Johnson, who has brashly declared he supports the London living wage - so pay up!

On 18 July the BEIS strikers were joined for a demo by PCS members on strike at HMRC in Liverpool.

PCS members at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have also been on strike for the same demand from their private employer Interserve.

In fact, a wave of strike action recently in London has also seen Bromley library workers on indefinite strike (see below), special transport workers striking in Hackney, RMT members striking against driver-only operation, and school strikes against cuts and academies at John Roan school in Greenwich and Ilford County high school.

Now the independent union United Voices is preparing low-paid cleaners for a summer of strike action at several prestigious employers, including the Royal Parks.

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In The Socialist 31 July 2019:


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