Hull Job Centre security guards who face 'disgraceful' abuse join more than 1,000 in walkout over pay

G4S workers outside Hull's Ferensway Job Centre during a strike over pay on Wednesday, May 8
G4S workers outside Hull's Ferensway Job Centre during a strike over pay on Wednesday, May 8 -Credit:LDRS

Security guards at Job Centres in Hull joined more than 1,000 who walked out over a pay dispute today (Wednesday, May 8).

GMB union official Shaun Clarkson told Hull Live workers were striking over a below-inflation pay offer from their employer G4S which they felt was "disgraceful" given the abuse they sometimes face. A G4S spokesperson said they were disappointed union members had not agreed to an improved offer made before the walk out.

A Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spokesperson said payments would not be affected. The strike which began yesterday morning is set to see walk outs on four further days this month.


Security workers are due to strike all day on Monday, May 13, Monday, May 20, Tuesday, May 28 and Wednesday, May 29. Benefit, state pension and other DWP payments will continue as normal and telephone services will be unaffected.

GMB stated that nearly 70 per cent of all security guards employed by G4S are paid at minimum wage levels. Security guards gathered outside the Job Centre in Ferensway today as part of the walk out. Union official Mr Clarkson said they were earning the rates despite sometimes facing abuse including being spat at and kicked while at work.

He said: "Many of the people coming to the Job Centre are nice but some are nasty, some of the behaviour the workers have to put up with is disgraceful. It would be nice for G4S to recognise that and offer them more money."

Local union rep Alan Cartwright said support for the strike had been overwhelming among members who planned to continue the dispute if they do not get a better deal.

Mr Cartwright said: "The members are single-minded and we're just getting stronger. We're not asking for a lot, we just want our pay to be level with inflation, we're being made the minimum wage but this isn't a minimum wage job.

"G4S are struggling to recruit staff and to keep them. There's people saying that they'll leave if things don't improve."

G4S's spokesperson said they had implemented contingency plans to minimise disruption at affected Job Centres. The spokesperson said: "We're disappointed that the GMB have refused to take our improved pay offer to their members. We are continuing to try to reach an amicable agreement."

DWP's spokesperson said most of their Job Centre sites would remain open during the strike. The spokesperson said: "If a site is closed, we are contacting customers if appointments need to be rescheduled or moved to alternative locations."