Harrods security guards have begun to ballot for strike action today following a dispute between union members and management over pay.
Members of Unite will decide whether to launch industrial action over a below inflation pay rise and unpaid work.
The union said members are angry that they are required to work for half an hour unpaid each day as they have to arrive 15 minutes early and leave 15 minute late in order to collect and drop off rotas, radio, keys and DNA spray.
Workers are also disputing an additional unpaid training day that they are required to take part in every eight weeks.
The ballot will close on 29 January, and if members vote for industrial action, strikes are expected to begin next month.
Unite regional officer Balvinder Bir said: “Unite members at Harrods are fed up of being treated with disdain by the management at the store.
“Our members are essential in creating the aura and security that Harrods and its clientele rely upon.
“If Harrods wants to avoid strike action then it needs to return to the negotiating table to ensure workers are treated fairly.”
A spokesperson for Harrods said: “Despite almost 12 months of pay talks, which the business has conducted with Unite and its representatives in an open and collaborative manner, Harrods is extremely disappointed that we have not been able to reach an agreement with Unite members within the Harrods Uniformed Security team.
“Harrods pays its Uniformed Security Officers generously and in line with industry benchmarks. Any pay adjustments have been made in line with external benchmarks, and as far as is possible, to maintain internal alignment within the team.
“The only cases in which pay increases were below inflation were those where an individual’s salary was above the benchmark and standard rate for a Uniformed Security Officer. Pay adjustments were implemented in September 2019 and backdated to April 2019 as Harrods was concerned, from a welfare perspective, of the negative impact of these delays, including on those Officers who are not Unite members.”
The spokesperson said that any time required for a security guard to go to and from their post is included in the annual salary they receive, and all training days are part of a normal shift pattern.