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Outsourced workers at two government departments will go on strike on Tuesday 21 May in a row over pay and conditions.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union, which represents workers at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), will take strike action for two days from tomorrow, while workers at the Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) will take action for four days.

Interserve, who operate at the FCO, have refused to recognise or negotiate with the union and have made repeated blunders on pay, leaving many low-paid workers struggling to make ends meet.

ISS and Aramark, who operate at BEIS, have refused to pay the London Living Wage (LLW), and cleaners at ISS have also struggled to survive due to non-payment of wages.

The situation has become so dire that the PCS BEIS branch set up a foodbank last week in a bid to help struggling ISS workers.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: “This week our members will tell these unscrupulous contractors enough is enough.

“The multi-day strikes being launched are just the beginning of an escalation in industrial action.

“These companies need to listen to the clear and reasonable demands of our members.

“When foodbanks are appearing at the BEIS department and a failing company like Interserve can’t pay workers on time, leading to members not even being able to get to work, then that is a scandal that needs dealing with.

“Ministers need to step up to the plate and take responsibility for this situation and take back all the contracted work in-house.”

Notes:

For more details of the Interserve dispute at the FCO, click here: https://www.pcs.org.uk/news/interserve-fco-workers-to-strike-again-21-and-22-may

For more details of the ISS and Aramark dispute at BEIS, click here: https://www.pcs.org.uk/news/iss-and-aramark-staff-at-beis-to-take-four-days-strike-action-over-low-pay?fbclid=IwAR3H2kJ611lfSSwTRFrTj0PA12ftF-2r65pVErOZHAjW6Tzq0nUwEFyVQrE

Striking workers will address PCS national conference on Wednesday 22 at the Brighton Centre, Brighton Kings Rd, Brighton BN1 2GR.

PCS is one of the UK's largest unions and represents civil and public servants in central government and in parts of government transferred to the private sector. Mark Serwotka is the general secretary and Fran Heathcote is President – on Twitter @franheathcote

Follow PCS on Twitter @pcs_union

THE FIREFIGHTERS' DILEMMA

TUCG: MARK SERWOTKA ON THE FIGHT AGAINST AUSTERITY

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BOOK: COST OF LIVING CRISIS

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Foreword by Mark Serwotka, PCS General Secretary

 

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Based on research commissioned by the TUCG, the book examines why costs have risen for all items of expenditure, ranging from housing and child care to food and transport. He makes practical proposals on how these costs can be reduced. He also delivers an uncompromising message to the leaders of all mainstream Westminster Parties: it is time to end the politics of austerity, an ideological project to cut the size of the state permanently.