Staff at the Bank of England working as cleaners, caterers and security guards went on strike this morning and are planning to stay on strike for three days.
The strike is a reaction to the 1% ‘pay rise’ that they were given which in reality is a pay cut.
With inflation at 2.6%, living costs in London are spiraling out of control, thus the 1% ‘pay-rise’ actually means they will have less money to survive on than in previous years.
With so many struggling across the country, the success of this strike is vital for the workers if they are to avoid the desperate poverty that others have to endure.
Outside the Bank in Central London, the staff on strike gathered to raise awareness of their campaign. The atmosphere was rather tense as taking on the top-guns at the Bank of England is a David v Goliath task and many are worried that talking to reporters could lead to repercussions from their employers.
This was a rather unique picket line as the staff at the entrance were demanding a rather modest pay rise whilst some of the bankers walking in and out of the bank are earning sky-high salaries.
This huge disparity in wages is something that is common throughout central London. Many of the offices employ senior staff on millions while the cleaners, caterers and others struggle on poverty pay.
Many often forget the importance of employees such as cleaners. Yet all offices would struggle to function without them. The attitude of the management is often unappreciative of the work they do and these workers are remunerated with a salary which they can survive on.
Labour’s John McDonnell arrived at 8am to support the strike and other Labour MPs such as Laura Pidcock and Dennis Skinner have pledged their support.
However, the head of the Bank of England, Mark Carney does not appear willing to offer the staff the pay raise that they are asking for and so it is possible that the strike will not be resolved within the next few days.