Blog: UK Financial Regulator Staff Stage First-Ever Strike – PYMNTS.com

Personnel at the U.K. Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) went on strike on Wednesday (May 4) for the first time in history, according to a statement from the Unite union.

The 48-hour continuous strike is expected to begin with workers marching to the financial watchdog’s main office in London to protest pay, working conditions and union recognition. The Unite union said the strike was prompted after the FCA’s “refusal” to listen to its workforce for months.

“The FCA has rejected all approaches to engage in discussions with employee representatives,” according to the statement.

The walkout will be followed by a “continuous ‘work to rule’ by the workforce, who will withdraw the regular overtime and additional work they currently do outside of their contractual duties.”

Walkouts are also planned for June 9, June 10, July 5 and July 6.

“​​Nobody takes industrial action lightly, and this is the first strike in the history of the FCA,” Sharon Graham, Unite general secretary said, adding that the FCA must “respect its workers and table a serious offer.” 

Graham pointed to the “disgraceful actions of the management under the leadership of the CEO, Nikhil Rathi.”

Rathi took the helm at the FCA last year when Charles Randell decided to step down a year before his term was up. 

See also: UK Financial Watchdog Organization Chair to Step Down a Year Early

The disagreement centers on a transformation plan proposed by Rathi to make the watchdog more efficient, which includes revamping how the workforce is paid. One major bone of contention among employees is the new bonus system, which cuts the number of people eligible.

“Most colleagues are receiving an average 7% increase in base pay this year and over 12% over the next two years, with an additional one-off cash payment of 4% in May,” the FCA told Reuters.

Of the FCA’s 4,000 employees, 294 Unite union members are participating in the walk-out, an unnamed source told the FCA.

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