Harrods security guards vote to strike over unpaid work

Employees at the London luxury department store are expected to create a picket line later this month

Security staff at Harrods have voted to go on strike following a dispute over pay.

Members of Unite, Britain’s largest trade union, backed the action by 97% with an 84% turnout.

The union has accused the luxury department store of enforcing below-inflation pay on its security guards and CCTV operators, and requiring employees to undertake unpaid work.

Unite said that employees lost out on 30 minutes of paid work per day.

Team members are expected to attend a location separate to the Knightsbridge store 15 minutes before they start work, and they stay behind after their shift to collect and drop off rotas, keys and DNA spray.

According to Unite, Harrods employees are also required to attend an unpaid training day every eight weeks.

Balvinder Bir, Unite Regional Office, said: “The stonking majority in favour of strike action underlines our members’ strength of feeling on these issues.

“Harrods’ management are now drinking in the last chance saloon. Only by making an improved pay offer and ending the injustice of unpaid work, can they avoid strike action.

“If strikes go ahead then it will greatly disrupt the smooth running of the prestigious store and will embarrass Harrods’ brand nationally and internationally.”

After nearly one year of pay negotiations, a spokesperson for Harrods said that the company was “extremely disappointed and saddened” that the union security staff have voted in favour of strike action.

However, Harrods “will trade as normal” during the planned action, which is expected to take place later this month.

The spokesperson continued: “While we had hoped to resolve this matter without strike action, the continued safety and security of our employees and customers is now our priority.”

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