Security staff at the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, currently locked in a ‘David and Goliath’ pay battle with their employer, will be striking for five days this month.

The 20 security guards are striking from 07.00 on Monday 14 December until 19.00 Friday 18 December over the failure of their employer Kingdom Services Group Ltd to make a decent pay offer for 2020.

The security personnel, members of Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, provide security for Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust.

The lowly-paid security guards voted unanimously to take strike action against Kingdom Services Group, a major corporate service provider with a £100 million plus turnover.

Unite regional officer Jesika Parmar said: “What we have here is a ‘David and Goliath’ struggle between our members seeking a pay increase to £12 an hour for security officers and £13.00 an hour for security supervisors against a management which is part of a global organisation with a £100 million turnover.

“Our lowly-paid members provide security 24/7 at the Royal Berkshire Hospital which is on the Covid-19 frontline. However, the management have refused to engage in meaningful talks over the 2020 pay award and other issues, such as harmonisation of sick pay, and enhanced pay for working nights, weekends and overtime.

“Our members are very reluctant to take industrial action during a national crisis, but strongly feel, as reinforced by the 100 per cent vote in favour of strike action, that the bosses are using coronavirus as an excuse to drive down pay and employment conditions which is totally unacceptable.

“We believe that strike action would cause severe reputational damage to the company. However, Unite’s door remains open for constructive talks with the company to resolve this dispute.”


Notes to editors:

The company’s website states: ‘Kingdom is one of the largest, independent and privately owned companies specialising in security solutions, facilities management, environmental protection and recruitment within the UK, Ireland and South Asia. We operate on a £100 million+ turnover.’

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065.

Please note the numbers above are for journalists’ enquiries only.

Email: [email protected]

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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.