Workers at BEIS begin strike action today to challenge low pay, poor conditions and outsourcing, reports Lucy Nichols
Today was the first day of strikes at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), as outsourced workers have walked out over low pay, poor conditions and a lack of paid leave.
Members of the PCS union, employed by the ISS, are in negotiations for fair pay and overall better working conditions. Their picket line this morning, outside the BEIS Conference Centre next to Westminster Abbey was lively and well-attended, and was met with enthusiasm by passing cars, vans, and even a fire engine.
The picket heard from me, speaking on behalf of the Peoples’ Assembly, as well as a student from UKSCN, a couple of strikers and their Union rep, who was cautiously optimistic about the outcome of the strike.
Other workers also seemed optimistic, with one arguing that ‘the only voice [the workers] have is the Union,’ and that the only way for their demands to be listened through is through strikes and support from the PCS.
It is clear that the strikers plan to continue making noise outside the BEIS until demands are met, and will be on the picket line tomorrow and Wednesday morning. Please share their posts on social media, and where possible, join the picket line.
Counterfire spoke to Katie Leslie about why workers have walked out:
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