Bank of England strike – “People have had enough of this public sector pay cap!”

Steve Eason reports as striking Bank of England workers were joined by staff from BA and Bart’s hospital on their third day of action.

bank of england strike unite
Photo: Steve Eason

This week bank maintenance, parlours, and security workers who are members of Unite the Union, have been striking at The Bank of England in central London over a below inflation pay offer for the second year running. It is the first strike at the bank in fifty years.

John McDonnell, Labour’s shadow Chancellor, joined the picket at the bank early on Tuesday morning and gave a short solidarity speech to strikers, some of whom were wearing Mark Carney masks.

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell joins the Bank of England picket line (Photo: Steve Eason)

Usman, a union rep for the bank’s security staff, spoke about why they were taking action

I’ve worked here for 30 years and a union member from day one….every time we mentioned strike action, staff would run a mile. Now people have had enough of this public sector pay cap!

A day of action on Thursday with protest at J.P. Morgan and BAA, culminated in a solidarity march around the city with Unite members from BA mixed fleet cabin crew and striking domestic, porters, and security staff employed by Serco at Bart’s NHS trust who have been in dispute for were weeks, chanting “Bank of England – Bank of shame”

Unite members at the Bank of England were joined by workers from BA mixed fleet and Serco in a march around the city (Photo: Steve Eason)

A rally to mark the end of the three day strike at the bank brought workers together again, and Pete Cavanagh, regional secretary of Unite, spoke:

One thing has united you, and that’s the feeling your employers, their directors have failed to recognise your efforts, your contribution… and you’ve noticed your employers and directors have awarded themselves millions of pounds in salary and bonuses… but Unite members have said enough is enough, we want a fair share, we want equality and we want dignity.


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