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Royal Parks gardeners down tools

Published 26/05/2015

Gardeners in Downing Street and Royal Parks in London are striking over pay
Gardeners in Downing Street and Royal Parks in London are striking over pay
The strike comes as the Queen prepares to open Parliament

Gardeners in Downing Street and Royal Parks in London have gone ahead with a 24-hour strike in a row over pay, with the threat of further industrial action if the dispute is not resolved.

Members of the GMB union employed by contractors OCS are protesting at changes to pay arrangements, including moving from weekly to monthly pay.

The strike also affected litter picking, refuse collection, road/path sweeping; cleansing, gritting, playground inspection and grave digging at Brompton Cemetery.

Gary Carter, GMB regional officer, said: " Employment relations have been good down the years, but since OCS took over the contract in August 2014 staff morale has rapidly deteriorated because of repeated attempts to worsen their pay and conditions.

"Now OCS wants to hold back two week's pay our members have already earned which will put these lower paid staff into debt. The management's action will cause unnecessary financial hardship.

"The staff and gardeners are proud of the work they do which is admired by Londoners and by visitors from all around the world. They deserve to be treated with decency and respect and to earn a reasonable living. The Royal Parks should also not sit back and let this happen."

The GMB said strike will affect the bank holiday clean up and is one day before the State Opening of Parliament when the Queen will go past the bedding outside Buckingham Palace which the union warned will not get completed.

A GMB official told the Press Association that further strikes were likely to be held if the dispute is not resolved.

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