Public and Commercial Services Union
|Printable version||E-mail this to a friend|
Passport staff vote for summer strikes over pay cut
Staff who provide admin and IT support to the UK's passport offices have voted by nearly nine to one to strike over an imposed pay cut, the Public and Commercial Services union announces.
More than 160 workers at Steria UK on a contract for the Identity and Passport Service (IPS), some paid as little as £13,500 a year, plan to walk out for two days at the end of the month, and are threatening further action in August if necessary.
The union says strike action would cause significant delays for people applying for or renewing passports at what is the busiest time of the year for IPS.
The staff - who take payments at passport office counters, and check and scan documents and applications - had previously overwhelmingly rejected an imposed pay freeze for those on £21,000 a year and above. All other employees will receive on average around £180 pro rata over a nine-month period.
The French-owned company made a profit of 50 million euros last year with its six chief executives, including UK CEO John Torrie, earning 2.5 million euros between them.
PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: "These private sector staff provide an invaluable public service for UK citizens applying for or renewing their passports.
"Yet instead of rewarding its workforce with a decent pay rise, the company is imposing what is nothing more than a pay cut at the same time as pocketing millions in profits."
The PCS members voted 86% percent in favour of strike action and 90% in favour of action short of a strike. The turnout was 62%.