Security officers and CCTV operators at the iconic Harrods store in Knightsbridge have begun balloting for strike action today (Monday 13 January) in a dispute over pay and unpaid work.

The workers who are members of Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, are angry that Harrods' management imposed a below inflation pay increase on them rather than return to the negotiating table, after the workforce overwhelmingly rejected the initial pay offer, in a consultative ballot.

Unpaid work

The dispute is also a result of the workers being required to work half an hour unpaid every day, as they have to be at attend a separate location 15 minutes before their shift starts and to stay behind 15 minutes after it ends, to collect and drop off rotas, radio, keys and DNA spray.

The workers are also required to undertake an additional unpaid ‘training day’ every eight weeks, an issue which also forms part of the dispute.

Coming industrial action

The ballot closes on Wednesday 29 January and if members vote for industrial action, strikes are likely to begin next month.

Given the prestigious nature of the store, which is owned by the Qatari sovereign wealth fund, a strike by security officers and CCTV operators will cause a great deal of disruption at the store.

Treated with disdain

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.”

Unite secured formal union recognition for the security officers and CCTV operators earlier this year.


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235. Email: [email protected]

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