The Socialist 9 October 2019 |
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BEIS: Outsourced caterers' indefinite strike victory
BEIS cleaners and caterers on strike, 29.7.19, photo Paula Mitchell (Click to enlarge)
Socialist Party members in PCS
More than nine months of action, including three months on indefinite strike, have paid off for PCS civil servants' union members employed by caterers Aramark.
The PCS members who work in the government's BEIS department have voted for a deal to end their dispute, which includes the London Living Wage, double the number of sick days on full pay and at least three days more annual leave.
This is a massive victory for the strikers. The sacrifice and determination they have shown has won the admiration and respect of members throughout the union.
PCS national executive committee member Marion Lloyd, who is standing to become a candidate in the general secretary election, applauded these brave workers. "As BEIS group president I want to pay tribute to members, a low-paid, diverse group of fighters, as well as the branch. Now to secure a settlement for the members in ISS as well. This dispute shows that the potential for our union is massive - now we must end the scandal of outsourcing and bring all of the workers and the services they provide back in-house."
Striker Joshua said: "We have voted for the deal offered to us. We won £10.55 an hour and the terms and conditions we demanded. It shows that action works."
Striker Novlette told the Socialist: "Our hard work pays off. Thanks for your support."
The gains won through this dispute are a first in Whitehall. Other workers in outsourced employment will be inspired to seek similar improvements to their conditions and will gain the confidence to take the necessary action.
While this is a fantastic and well-deserved achievement for our members in BEIS and Aramark, the ISS dispute, which covers other outsourced staff, continues.
Similarly, PCS members employed by Interserve at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have just concluded a five-day strike over pay, conditions and union recognition.
The BEIS dispute was won by members being prepared to stand and fight and with the magnificent support from other union members.
Support Marion Lloyd for general secretary with your vote at your branch nomination meeting. If you have any questions or would like to invite Marion to speak, contact [email protected]
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