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Inverness security workers strike to be ‘paid enough to live on’

By Rachel Smart

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GMB union members on strike outside the Jobcentre Plus on Young Street. Picture: James Mackenzie
GMB union members on strike outside the Jobcentre Plus on Young Street. Picture: James Mackenzie

Security workers from DWP Job Centre in Inverness are participating in a week-long strike over a real-term pay cut that has seen 90 per cent of them paid just the minimum wage.

Based on Young Street, the workers are employed by G4S who are contracted by the government to carry out security at premises throughout the UK.

The workers will be striking week-on, week-off until they are made an offer they wish to accept.

Ninety per cent of these security guards earn just the minimum wage, warns GMB Union.

DWP has handed G4S £211 million by the Department for Work and Pensions since December 2022, despite employment costs being just £161 million during the same period.

Eamon O’Hearn, GMB National Officer, said: “It’s no rocket science – if the DWP and G4S want to end this dispute, make sure these guards are paid enough to live on.

“G4S has been handed millions by the Government, yet our members can barely afford to feed their families.

“The work they do is hard; they are attacked with alarming regularity just for doing their job.

“The least they expect is to be paid a proper wage.”

A G4S spokesperson said: "Our dedicated security colleagues do a great job and support an essential public service, sometimes in difficult circumstances. The majority of our staff have not been on strike.

“We urge the union to present our offer to our employees, which is above minimum wage and inflation. We want to give our staff a pay rise and are keen to bring this dispute to an amicable conclusion.”

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