Bank of England staff strike for first time in 50 years

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Bank of England support staff have begun a three-day strike after last minute talks yesterday ended without an agreement.

Employees in the Unite trade union have walked out over a dispute over a below inflation pay rise of 1 per cent and is the first time in 50 years that workers at the central bank have gone on strike.

Around 20 union members have been joined by shadow chancellor John McDonnell to picket outside the Bank’s headquarters in the City of London. Unite said that although the action involves around two per cent of the 4,000-strong workforce at the Bank the strike would render the bank ‘effectively inoperable.’

However, a spokesperson for the banks said the Bank had plans in place so that all essential business will continue to operate as normal during this period.

Unite London and Eastern regional secretary Peter Kavanagh said: “The governor of the Bank of England must take responsibility for the fact that his dedicated workforce is today having to make their concerns heard from a picket line.  

“Mark Carney should come to the picket lines outside this iconic British bank today and explain why hardworking men and women deserve to face years of pay cuts. They are struggling to pay their bills and feed their families because the bank has unjustly imposed a below inflation or zero pay rise. 

“Unite is calling on the Bank of England to come back to the negotiating table to discuss a fair pay deal for the employees. Unite is prepared to talk and to reach a fair settlement.” 

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