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Striking Aramark workers reach deal with government department

04 October 2019 by
Striking Aramark workers reach deal with government department

Striking Aramark workers at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) have reached a deal with government that will see them paid the London Living Wage.

In July an escalation of a pay dispute saw catering employees, led by the PCS Union, stage an indefinite walkout alongside workers contracted by ISS in other areas of the department. The strikers were demanding to be paid the London Living Wage and receive workers’ rights similar to peers in the civil service.

After more than two months of indefinite strike action, Aramark has agreed to pay its workers £10.55 an hour as well as improving conditions around holiday and absence due to sickness.

PCS general secretary, Mark Serwotka, said: “This is a fantastic win, only made possible by the sheer determination of our members at BEIS. Taking on a contractor who had the backing of a government department was incredibly brave and these members have shown that where you stick together, you can win.

“We never take strike action lightly, but this dispute shows that when there is no alternative, sustained strike action can win.”

Business secretary Andrea Leadsom had earlier said: “All our staff at BEIS are highly valued, and their work greatly appreciated – whether they are employed by the department or through our contractors.”

PCS workers employed by ISS at BEIS are still in discussions to resolve the dispute.

The action had gained support from several Labour MPs and figures in the trade union movement, including shadow business secretary Rebecca Long-Bailey, shadow chancellor John McDonnell and TUC chair Frances O’Grady.

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