Foreign Embassy workers in the United Kingdom see the 8% salary increase offered by the Government as “insufficient” and will continue to protest


    The Ministry of Finance and Civil Service has yielded to the increase of 8.75% in the remuneration of all labor personnel hired in the United Kingdom, that is, both of the workers who carry out their work in the embassy and consulates, as well as of other organizations that do not depend directly on Foreign Affairs. However, they are still “insufficient” for the workers, who have assured that the protests “will continue.”

    From the CSIF union they have warned “that salary inequalities abroad continue”, for this reason they propose to the Government the elaboration of “a comparative study of parity” that measures purchasing power by country and to know in detail “what are the inequalities ” and which countries have been the “mainly affected by the rise in prices”.

    The weekly stoppages will continue to take place despite the fact that the Foreign Ministry has given in to a salary increase of between 8% and 10% for the workforce of eight countries (without specifying which ones but in which the United Kingdom was included). This advance in the negotiation reduced the strike in the country and, although it was welcomed by the workers, they complain that they are still waiting for it to take effect. “We thought that it would be applied days later, but we are still waiting,” one of the labor workers at the London Embassy told this newspaper.

    During the last weeks, the wave of concentrations has continued to spread to more countries such as Italy, France, Portugal, Morocco, Finland, Australia or New Zealand, where now, the workers are developing the new initiative Black Mondays Abroad, in which every Monday they dress in black and gather in front of their respective headquarters to protest the salary freeze and the lack of improvement in working conditions since, it should be noted, the latest Treasury updates have only been applied in the United Kingdom . It is planned that this series of mobilizations of the PLEX Committee will take place until July 25 in “98% of the Spanish embassies around the world”, according to Pablo Puertas, the Committee’s union delegate, to the newspaper EL MUNDO .

    However, the workers of PLEX Australia consider that if this increase were applied to them “it would hardly change the situation because a general increase of 5% in the minimum wage has been announced in the country.” So the solution proposed by this group is that the salary tables of the DFAT (Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade) be applied directly to them, as do other European consulates in Australia because “this guarantees both a decent salary and an automatic review mechanism salary each year,” they point out.

    From Foreign sources to which EL MUNDO has had access, they guarantee that “medium and long-term measures” are being studied to solve the problem and “negotiations are being carried out with both the Ministry of Finance and other departments to improve working conditions” of the workers.

    In addition, a file has been submitted to the Executive Committee of the Interministerial Remuneration Commission (CECIR) “to adjust remuneration in the eight countries where the loss of purchasing power has been more acute in recent years, among which is the United Kingdom United”. The resolutions have proposed an increase of 8.75%, the same figure that Foreign Affairs already proposed.

    The workers of the British Isles have been the ones who have made the most stoppages. Its 143 workers, divided between the embassy and the consulates, were on uninterrupted strike for more than a month, offering services to citizens at a minimum. Weeks later, the movement spread to other legations that were in the same “precarious” situation.

    However, the first protests of the collective began in Argentina in 2017, when the workers called long strikes that did not end in any resolution. For this reason, its workers said that “they were resentful of the great losses and that they would surely not stop again” but now, they have taken up the matter again and have rejoined the mobilizations.

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