Cleaners employed in HM Revenue & Customs offices will be protesting in Liverpool this Friday (18 March) after it emerged that they will face cuts to hours and possible redundancies to pay for the new minimum wage rate.
The demonstration will take place from 12.30pm in Derby Square. Cleaners from HMRC offices in Liverpool City Centre and Bootle Town Centre will be among those taking part.
The government’s ‘national living wage,’ being introduced in April, will see the minimum wage rise by 50p to £7.20 per hour for workers over 25.
ISS Facility Services Ltd, who employ the cleaners, has proposed the cuts because they claim that the money for the wage increase is being withheld by Salisbury FM. Salisbury provides cleaning services to HMRC and sub-contracts ISS to provide cleaning staff.
The PCS union, representing the cleaners, says that they are already under-staffed and over-worked due to previous rounds of cuts. The union is campaigning for the workers to be paid the Living Wage currently set at £8.25 alongside improvements to terms and conditions, and says more staff are needed, not less.
Phil Dickens, PCS regional organiser for HMRC in the North West, said: “The outsourcing chain in HMRC allows the different companies involved to pass the buck on the pay and conditions of workers, but as far as we’re concerned they all have a responsibility here.
“ISS is a multinational company that operates in over 50 countries, with more than 520,000 employees. In 2015 it made profits of £230 million and had assets of over £5,000 million. This company can well afford to pay the living wage without cutting back on the hours of its staff. Indeed, it has the Living Wage Foundation’s endorsement because it claims to do just that.
“At the same time, HMRC has a duty to see that the public money it is putting into this contract is spent the way it is meant to be. That is, on the service needed and not on stuffing the back pockets of private executives. Salisbury, being contracted to provide a cleaning service, needs to do just that instead of lining its own pockets.
“Cleaning staff are rightly up in arms about this situation. It’s highway robbery and exploitation all at once, and they’re willing to fight to stop it. The protest in Liverpool is just the beginning of that.”
PCS justice for cleaners demonstration
Victoria Monument, Derby Square
Friday 18 March, 12.30pm
All supporters welcome – bring flags and banners
RSVP on Facebook here
Like ‘One for All – Jusice for HMRC cleaners‘ on Facebook
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