Almost 1,500 Job Centre Security Guards Walk Out for a Week as Dispute Escalates

The guards – employed by private outsourcing giant G4S – will walk out from Monday 1 July – Saturday 6 July across the UK.

Major pickets to take place in:

Kennington JCP, 206-210 Kennington Park Rd, London SE11 4DE

Crawley JC, Gresham House, 20 – 22 Station Rd, Crawley RH10 1EZ

West Ealing JCP, 86-92 Uxbridge Road, Ealing, W13 8RA

Stratford JCP, Oates House, 1 Tramway Avenue, E15 4PN

Bradford: 85 Manningham Lane, BD1 3BE

Newcastle: One Cathedral Square, NE1 1EE

The workers can face a difficult and dangerous job; GMB research shows more than 80 percent regularly suffer abuse, including being savaged in the neck by dogs, punched, attacked with screwdrivers and customers behaving ‘like wild animals”. In total, 90 per cent of the guards are now paid just the minimum wage.

Meanwhile the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has shelled out £211 million to G4s since Dec 2022 – despite staff costs being just £161 million during the same period, a difference of £50 million. ACAS is attempting to arrange talks to settle the dispute, but the DWP is refusing to participate.

Eamon O’Hearn, GMB National Officer, commented:

“It’s not 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.”

GMB Union, often referred to as GMB, is one of the largest trade unions in the United Kingdom. It represents workers across a variety of sectors, including public services, manufacturing, retail, security, and social care.

Established over 130 years ago, GMB works to advocate for workers’ rights, fair wages, safe working conditions, and improved workplace policies. As a member-led organization, its activities and policies are directed by its members. GMB provides support through negotiation, legal representation, and campaigns aimed at enhancing working conditions and labour laws. Additionally, the union offers training and development opportunities to help members advocate for their rights in the workplace.

A spokesperson for G4S commented:

“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.”  

G4S have reportedly made offers to the team,

  • Their pay offer is a 6.5% pay rise from April 2023, and an average 9.3% rise from December 2023 to April 2024.
  • This is their best and last offer put to the GMB in April 2024 and the union has refused to put it to a vote by its members.
  • Once agreed all backdated pay would be paid to their employees.
  • Around 30% of the workforce took part in a week of industrial action (17-21 June).
  • Since 2022, G4S has made 12 pay offers and the GMB has taken only 2 to a ballot.