Labour staff could take strike action after rejecting latest pay offer by bosses

Posted On: 
8th May 2019

Staff working for the Labour party could take strike action after rejecting a third and "final" pay offer by bosses.

Labour is in a pay dispute with its staff.
PA Images

The decision, at an emergency meeting at Labour HQ, came despite the GMB and Unite unions both recommending that they accept the proposal.

It is understood that staff voted by 137-37 against the offer, with some union members shouting "strike, strike, strike" as the meeting broke up.

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Labour bosses had offered every member of staff £800 each, plus a guarantee of five non-bank holiday days off over Christmas.

For some workers, this would have meant a real-terms pay cut as it would be below the rate of inflation.

The party's initial pay offer was £600 per person, which was later increased to £750. Both were unanimously rejected by Labour staff.

In their latest offer letter to the trade unions, the party said: "We can confirm that this is the final offer that can be achieved through negotiation, so please ensure your members are aware of this when they are making their decision."

Recommending their members accept the offer, the GMB/Unite Joint Trades Union Council said: "We feel that this offer, although it does not ensure an inflation pay rise for all bands, is the best offer we are likely to receive from management through negotiation.

"Therefore, we are calling a joint Unite/GMB emergency branch meeting with the JTUC recommendation to accept this offer."

A Labour source said the overwhelming mood of the meeting was to reject the offer, with one person present saying: "We're supposed to be the f*****g Labour party."

PoliticsHome understands that the GMB is pushing for a ballot on industrial action.

But one insider said: "There is no way Labour will let that happen."

A Labour spokesperson said: "The Labour party is engaged in pay talks with our staff unions and we await feedback from the union reps about how today’s meeting went."

The GMB and Unite have all been approached for comment.