Harrods on strike?

From the Financial Times, a sign of the times:

Harrods, one of the world’s most famous shops, faces the prospect of a summer strike during the height of the tourist season after workers began balloting for industrial action on Monday.

Unite, Britain’s biggest union, is balloting more than 230 maintenance workers, engineers, drivers and warehouse staff in a dispute over pay and holiday entitlements.

Debbie McSweeney, Unite regional officer, said: “The world’s most famous store faces a very expensive strike. Our members keep Harrods running; they ensure the lights stay on, the building operates safely and shoppers can get about the store. It is difficult to imagine how the shop could function properly without them.”

The union wants Harrods to improve on a “below inflation pay offer” of 3.5 per cent and give maintenance staff and other workers two extra days’ leave, the same as the company has “given to shop floor staff”.

Unite said last week that the offer for extra holiday entitlement was broadcast over the shop’s loudspeaker system. It said on Monday: “It is very worrying that those workers who were not given two extra days’ holidays are in a recognised union, while the shop floor workers who got the extra leave do not have a recognised union.”

2 Responses to “Harrods on strike?”

  1. Anon Says:

    What the FT article doesn’t mention is what these unionised people already earn. If they already earn above industry standard pay then why should they receive any increase in pay at all? Are they earning more than the shop floor workers who are not unionised? As the Union rep did not produce (or at least the article didn’t state) a balanced view of why the union believes their demands are reasonable this just comes across are pure greed to the average joe, like me.

  2. charliemarks Says:

    Why should it mention what they earn? The point is that the employer is rewarding some for their effort but not all – how can it be assumed shop floor staff work harder than maintanence staff?

    The decision was announced through a loudspeaker and there was no consultation with workers and their representatives – ignoring the established union recognition. If it looks like greed you need your eyes tested – al Fayed is greedy, not the people who work for him!

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