Harrods security guards deliver ‘stonking majority’ in favour of strike action
- Thursday 30 January 2020
Members of Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, employed as security guards and CCTV operators at the Harrods store in Knightsbridge have voted for strike action in a dispute over pay and unpaid work.
The workers returned a 97 per cent vote in favour of strike action on an 84 per cent turnout.
The dispute is a result of Harrods’ management imposing a below inflation pay offer on the workers, which had been decisively rejected by members in a consultative ballot, rather than return to the negotiating table.
The dispute also concerns workers’ opposition to being required to undertake unpaid work. Before each shift the workers have to attend separate location 15 minutes before they start work and stay behind after their shift to collect and drop off rotas, keys and DNA spray.
Once every eight weeks the workers are required to attend an unpaid ‘training day’ which also forms part of the dispute.
Harrods’ management now have a final opportunity to submit an improved pay offer and end the injustice of the unpaid work in order to avoid strike action taking place for the first time in the shop’s history.
Strength of feeling
Unite regional officer Balvinder Bir said: “The stonking majority in favour of strike action underlines our members’ strength of feeling on these issues.
“Harrods management are now drinking in the last chance saloon. Only by making an improved pay offer and ending the injustice of unpaid work, can they avoid strike action.
“If strikes go ahead then it will greatly disrupt the smooth running of the prestigious store and will embarrass Harrods’ brand nationally and internationally.”
Harrods is owned by the Qatari sovereign wealth fund.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.