Bank of England faces first strike in half century

Ryan Fowler

July 5, 2017

Staff working in the Bank of England have voted to go on strike in what will be the first industrial action in the bank in over 50 years.

Staff at the Bank voted overwhelmingly in favour of strike action in a ballot on pay with 95% calling for action.

Trade union Unite has branded the bank “arrogant and out of touch” and called on Mark Carney to “get his own house in order” and personally intervene to settle this long-running dispute for the stake of the stability of the bank and the interests of its committed workforce.

Unite balloted its members working in the maintenance, parlours and security departments in the first part of the dispute.

Unite regional officer Mercedes Sanchez said: “Staff at the Bank of England have made their anger clear by voting for strike action in July. 95% of the staff in maintenance, parlours and security have backed industrial action due to their employers outright refusal to negotiate a fair pay deal for its workforce.”

Staff are angry that they have been given a below inflation pay offer for the second year running. The result of this pay award is that up to one third of the staff will get no pay rise in 2017 whatsoever.

Sanchez continued: “The Bank of England now faces its first strike action in over 50 years when staff in vital services across the country will be taking action because of the bank’s total refusal to accept that its workforce is struggling to meet their costs of living.

“The result of the bank’s unwillingness to negotiate fair pay will be that the bank’s sites, including the iconic Threadneedle Street in the city of London will effectively be inoperable without the maintenance, parlours and security staff.

“Mark Carney needs to get his own house in order. It is nothing short of shameful that the iconic symbol of financial services in the UK is choosing to ride roughshod over the concerns of its dedicated and hardworking staff and impose this derisory pay deal. The governor can no longer turn a blind eye to what is happening on his own patch.

“Unite is calling on the Bank of England to come back to the negotiating table to discuss a fair pay deal for the employees in order to avoid any industrial action. Unite is prepared to talk and to reach a fair settlement.”

The bank’s annual report shows that Mark Carney earns £480,000 a year, with his total remuneration package amounting to nearly £900,000.

Four days of strike action on 31 July, 1, 2 and 3 August 2017 are now set to take place if the bank fails to resolve the pay dispute.

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