Royal Parks contract cleaners will strike over pay

Contract workers at the Royal Parks are to take strike action in a dispute over pay, conditions and the sacking of a member of staff.

Members of the Public and Commercial Services union (PCS), whose duties include cleaning the toilets, are calling for their pay and conditions to be brought into line with directly-employed Royal Parks staff.

The union says Ask Estates Limted, which has a contract to provide toilet cleaning services for the parks, has refused to recognise or engage with the union.

Royal park contract workers could take strike action if their demand for equal pay in line with those directly employed by the charity which runs the parks is not met. Pictured: Hyde Park

The Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) says roughly 38 of the park’s 50 workers are members and could take strike action as early as July 30 if the dispute over pay isn’t met

The union is also calling for the reinstatement of staff member Margaret Lokko who it says was sacked despite the fact she informed her manager that she was delayed returning from Ghana due to the global Covid pandemic travel restrictions.

PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka said: ‘The treatment of staff who do an important job keeping key facilities functioning at the Royal Parks is a disgrace.

‘Strike action is always a last resort but we will back our members every step of the way.’

The union said the first strike could be held on July 30.

The Royal Parks include Hyde Park and St James’s Park in central London.

The union also wants the reinstatement of an employee who they say was sacked because she got held up travelling back from Ghana due to Covid. Pictured: Kensington Gardens

A Royal Parks spokesman said: ‘In line with many other organisations, we contract out cleaning services, and many other services integral to maintaining the parks, and the terms and conditions of staff employed by those contractors are decided by their employers.

‘All cleaning staff have been paid London Living Wage since 2019. We acknowledge and understand the issues raised but cannot comment further due to legal reasons.

‘We will continue to work closely with our partners, suppliers and contractors to ensure that terms and conditions for all those who work as part of the wider Parks’ teams are fair and appropriate.’

In 2019, park attendants were awarded the London living wage after a wave of coordinated strikes.

Read More: DailyMail

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