Workers at tourist attractions across London are to strike in a dispute over pay.
The GMB union said 900 of its members employed by the City of London Corporation will walk out on May 25 at attractions including Tower Bridge, Barbican, museums, gardens, parks and markets after voting overwhelmingly in favour of industrial action.
The strike is the latest in a wave of industrial action which has engulfed many industries, including rail, healthcare, education, the civil service and postal workers.
A City of London Corporation spokesperson said: “Our 2022-23 pay award gave all full-time employees at least £2,300 extra. In our view, it addressed the challenges staff face in the fairest way possible, while ensuring we met our statutory duty to deliver a balanced budget.
“We appreciate how difficult it is for many people in the current economic climate and our one-off winter payment of £1,000 provided in October gave real, practical support to all our staff to help them cope with the cost-of-living crisis. This amount has now been confirmed as consolidated into base pay during 2023-24.
“The minimum pay increase awarded last year meant our lowest paid staff – those most affected by the cost-of-living crisis – received an increase of over 12%.
“Through talks with the unions and Acas, we sought to find a solution acceptable to all, and we regret that this was not possible.
“Providing the inflation-matching pay increase demanded by the unions would result in significant cuts to services, including making a considerable number of redundancies.”
Anna Lee, GMB London region organiser, said: “This vote and support for strike action confirms how strongly our members feel and how this cost-of-living crisis is having such a devastating impact on them and their families.
“This ‘them and us’ culture within the Corporation of London has to end.
“It is not OK for workers to be using food banks whilst corporation bosses spend thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money on hospitality – while telling staff there’s no money for pay.
“Our members do not take this action lightly, but our demands for fair pay have been falling on deaf ears for months.
“No one wants to go on strike but our members feel they are not being listened to, now they feel they have no alternative.
“GMB calls on the City of London Corporation to properly value and respect their staff and return to the negotiating table.”
Press Association – Alan Jones