Protests planned as outsourcing firm ISS changes wage system for low-paid security guards, cleaners and caterers
'One of Britain’s largest outsourcing companies and its clients are facing mounting protests over plans to withhold the pay of thousands of workers who are among the lowest paid in the UK.
They include security guards at Barclays Bank and Goldman Sachs and porters and caterers at NHS hospitals who are facing hardship as a result of plans by ISS to pay staff one week later than they currently do as it “upgrades” its payroll system.
Protests this week will include those organised by the GMB union at three south London NHS hospitals on Thursday, and one by the RMT union in Manchester on Wednesday by cleaners working for the company on an Arriva Rail North bus contract.
A cleaner earning a flat rate of £260 a week at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University hospital, where the Unite union is to hold a second protest on 15 April, said colleagues were crying from stress and worry.
“Like most of those I work with, I live week to week and don’t have any savings,” said the man, a father of two young children whose partner is in ill health. One daughter is autistic and dependent on routine, which he said he might not be able to afford as a result.
He and others working at the hospital were informed at the end of March of ISS’s plans to change its pay cycle, including for hourly paid workers, as part of what the company have nicknamed “Project Greenfield”.
When they get paid on the new pay date of 9 May, hourly paid workers will have worked three weeks but will only be paid for two on the new payday. Staff will receive money owed when they leave the company.
“To think that ISS has at some point had a meeting and decided to take a week’s pay off low-paid staff and keep it is beyond despicable morally,” said the man, who said he and others did not sufficiently trust the company to take up its offer of a loan.'
Read more: Payroll 'upgrade' means thousands of workers face week without pay