Cleaners in Merseyside who are members of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) are taking part in a two-day strike, starting today (Monday 25 July 2016) in a dispute over pay.
The cleaners are employed by global facility services organisation ISS, and are contracted to work at the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) offices in Merseyside.
In a ballot of the 30 cleaners from six offices in Bootle and Liverpool, there was a 66% turn out, all (100%) of which voted in favour of strike action.
The industrial action will be followed by an overtime ban and a work to rule.
PCS is calling for HMRC to ensure its contractors pay staff the Living Wage Foundation’s living wage rate of £8.25 an hour. This voluntary rate is calculated according to the cost of living.
The union also claims that the cleaners’ hours have been cut to offset the increase in wages caused by the introduction of the national living wage. The national living wage is mandatory for employees aged 25 and over, and currently stands at £7.20 an hour.
Martin Kelsey, HMRC group secretary at PCS, said: “Despite making hundreds of millions of pounds in profit, ISS is holding back from the lowest-paid workers in their organisation even the most meagre of benefits arising from the government’s new minimum rates of pay.”
ISS had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.