Chair, Reading District Labour Party
Trade Union Liaison Officer, Reading District Labour Party
Labour Member of Parliament, Reading East
Labour Councillors, Reading Borough Council
Labour Prospective Candidates, Reading Borough Council

An Open Letter to Terry Barton, Chief Executive, Kingdom Services Group

Kingdom Services Group Security Personnel, Royal Berkshire Hospital: Unite the Union Industrial Action

Since 14 December 2020, security personnel at Kingdom Services Group, the sub-contracted security providers for the Royal Berkshire Hospital (RBH), have been in dispute with their employer over pay and conditions. We, the undersigned, assert our support for the striking workers as organised by Unite the Union.

The Kingdom security officers and supervisors are striking for a wage of £12 and £13 per hour, respectively, and are seeking harmonisation of sick pay and enhanced pay for staff working nights, weekends and overtime. Their employer has refused to consider any of these claims and has, furthermore, resorted to the use of agency staff in an attempt to undermine the strike. We are shocked by such behaviour from an employer towards their employees, especially as, according to the last published Government report on COVID19 fatalities by industry, “men working as security guards had the highest rate, with 74.0 deaths per 100,000”.1 Security staff at RBH ARE FRONTLINE WORKERS.

We condemn:

  • Kingdom’s failure to acknowledge the particular vulnerability of their staff in the face of the COVID19 pandemic in their terms and conditions of employment;
  • Kingdom’s refusal to enter into talks with Unite to settle this dispute; and
  • Kingdom’s use of agency staff as a strike-breaking tactic.

We call on Kingdom Services Group to sit down with Unite to settle this dispute with a fair offer at the earliest opportunity – not an unreasonable expectation from “a global organisation with a £100 million annual turnover”.2 We request the RBH Board of Directors and the RBH Council of Governors to use their influence to persuade Kingdom to enter into meaningful talks with Unite to settle a dispute which directly involves the interests of RBH patients.

If Kingdom refuse to settle this dispute through meaningful dialogue with Unite, we will continue to support the 10 days of strike action scheduled to take place between 1 and 12 February.

Yours sincerely

Cllr Sarah Hacker RDLP Chair
Dr John Partington RDLP Trade Union Liaison Officer
Helen Caney RDLP Secretary
Matthew Harrison RDLP Campaign Officer
Dr Anthony Bardos RDLP Treasurer
Angie Burnish RDLP Disability Officer
Chris Reilly RDLP Fundraising and Events Officer
Gareth Langston Policy Officer
Dr Alessandra Borlotti Women’s Officer
Jackie Oversby Political Education Officer

Matt Rodda MP Labour Member of Parliament, Reading East

Cllr Jason Brock Leader, Reading Borough Council
Cllr Tony Page Deputy Leader, Reading Borough Council

RBC Labour Councillors
Cllr Ayo Sokale
Cllr Ashley Pearce
Cllr Jo Lovelock
Cllr Tony Jones
Cllr Chris Maskell
Cllr Adele Barnett-Ward
Cllr Debs Absolom
Cllr David Absolom
Cllr Deborah Edwards
Cllr Micky Leng
Cllr Liz Terry
Cllr Gul Khan
Cllr Graeme Hoskin
Cllr Mohammed Ayub
Cllr John Ennis
Cllr Rose Williams
Cllr Rachel Eden
Cllr Ellie Emberson
Cllr Paul Gittings
Cllr Ruth McEwan
Cllr Karen Rowland
Cllr John Ennis

RDLP Prospective RBC Candidates
Caroline McArthur – Thames Ward Candidate
Boubacar Dembele – Mapledurham Ward Council Candidate
James Patrick Denny – Peppard Ward Council Candidate
Alice Mpofu-Coles – Whitley Ward Council Candidate
Andrew Hornsby-Smith – Redlands Ward Council Candidate
Amjad Tarar – Park Ward Council Candidate

1 Comment

  1. John Oversby on 18/02/2021 at 09:45

    We thank these people for their strong support for the strikers. We look for a positive response in favour of the strikers. As a staunch trade unionist, they have my full support.

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