FCA staff play Bob Marley and Protest Pay in first-ever strike

(Bloomberg) – Staff at the Financial Conduct Authority held up signs and called for better pay while blasting Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up” from a small PA system during the workers’ first strike. nine years of watchdog history.

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About 30 workers and union officials carried union flags and chanted “exploitation is not the solution, workers deserve their pay”, under the regulator’s headquarters in east London on Wednesday morning.

Accompanied by representatives of the Unite union, employees held up signs reading “I prefer to regulate”.

Tension is mounting between the union and the regulator as chief executive Nikhil Rathi prepares to reform his wage structures. The regulator updated plans in March to shake up pay after staff raised concerns, saying the changes would raise wages for around 800 of the lowest-paid workers by 4,310 pounds ($5,394 ) on average per year.

In the end, the workers voted to strike against the “unacceptable” wage reforms. They say staff face a pay cut after abolishing what they describe as routine discretionary payments.

The FCA estimates that 294 out of 4,000 employees voted in favor of the strike.

“The imposition of changes to wages, terms and conditions at FCA has made the situation worse for thousands of employees,” Sharon Graham, Unite’s general secretary, said in a statement.

Unite said the industrial action will last for 48 hours in London and Edinburgh and then will be followed by workers withdrawing their regular overtime and extra work outside of their contractual duties.

An FCA spokesperson said the regulator’s new employment scheme was highly competitive, with most colleagues receiving an average increase of 7% in base pay this year and more than 12% over the next two years, with an additional one-time cash payment of 4% in May. .

“Our lowest paid and highest performing employees will receive more,” FCA said. “The vast majority of colleagues have decided not to strike and we are operating normally.”

(Adds details of the strikers’ position to the fifth paragraph.)

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