Plumbers, electricians and fitters walked out yesterday after company failed to meet with union and ACAS

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Unite members from the special events division of support services company Interserve FM Ltd, who are contracted to the Metropolitan Police Service, were yesterday on strike in a long-running dispute over pay.

Staff from Interserve’s main depot in Wimbledon and also from the New Scotland Yard police station commenced action at one minute past midnight for 24 hours. A further five days of action is planned for the 2012. Action will also include a work to rule and includes an overtime ban which will rule out callouts over the Christmas break.

The 65 workers taking action, which include plumbers, electricians and fitters, assist the Metropolitan police in London work on a myriad of special events including all the recent marches through London.

Talks with Interserve, which have lasted over a year, have failed to resolve the pay claim dispute. Despite a verbal agreement made through Acas, the company came back two days later and dismissed the entire agreement, stating that its board had refused the pay claim.

Unite regional officer Guy Langston, said: “We have attempted to engage the company in talks via Acas, however, the company has turned down the offer and our members now feel they have no option but to take industrial action.

“Interserve has also announced that Unite does not have collective bargaining rights – this is a complete falsehood. Bargaining rights were established before Interserve won the contract where our members were TUPE’d over from the Metropolitan police – where we still enjoy full bargaining rights.

“The company is attempting to impose a derogatory pay rise on its workforce. Our members are amongst the lowest paid group within the company and remain strong and committed to a negotiated pay rise. They take action with a heavy heart, but feel that their employer has left them very little choice.”

There is no current offer and Unite has lodged a further claim for 2.25% from 2010 to 2011 including an equalisation of the pay grades.

Guy Langston added: “An attempt yesterday to get a meeting with Interserve to resolve the dispute failed, as both Unite and Acas were available, but Interserve was not – therefore the planned action will go ahead. There is a meeting scheduled early in the New Year with Interserve and Acas and we would hope we can come to a negotiated settlement.”


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