Workers employed by the City of London Corporation have begun balloting for strike action in a long running dispute, following a derisory pay offer.

The City of London Corporation, which is the local authority for the City of London, has imposed a pay increase for 2022 that is on average worth just three per cent. This is a substantial real terms pay cut with the current real rate of inflation (RPI) currently standing at 13.4 per cent.

Grossly wealthy

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The City of London Corporation is grossly wealthy and there is no justification whatsoever for its attempt to force a massive real terms pay cut on its workers.

“This is a shocking case of an organisation that can fully afford to make a fair pay offer but is refusing to do so to hoard even greater wealth.

“Unite does what it says on the trade union tin and always prioritises the jobs, pay and conditions of its members. The workers at the City of London Corporation will receive Unite’s complete support.”

Huge reserves

The City of London Corporation is incredibly wealthy. Its latest accounts for 2020 reveal that it has reserves of £1.587 billion.

Unite represents over 250 workers at the City of London Corporation. They are employed in a variety of roles including security, police staff, grounds maintenance and administrative functions.

Ballot papers are being sent to members from today (Wednesday 8 February) and the ballot will close on Wednesday 15 March. If workers support taking industrial action then strikes could begin before the end of next month.

Negotiations exhausted 

Unite unsuccessfully tried to secure a better offer through talks held at the conciliation service Acas but the Corporation of London refused to improve the pay deal.

The workers have reported that the derisory pay rise and cost of living crisis has destroyed their finances. One worker resorted to sleeping in their car to reduce travelling costs, while others have had to use food banks and borrow money to try to cope with soaring food and energy costs.

Fairness demanded

Unite regional officer Nick West said: “The City of London Corporation can fully afford to deliver a pay rise. Our members’ are being forced to use food banks and borrow money to pay bills. All of this is happening whilst the corporation spends hundreds of thousands on lavish entertainment for the wealthy.

“Unite has exhausted every avenue of negotiation and, for the first time in the union’s history, are balloting our members at the City of London Corporation for industrial action over pay. Our members are united in the demand for fair pay and are prepared to take industrial action, halting the City’s key services until the corporation puts forward an acceptable offer."


For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.