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Queen Elizabeth II Faces Staff Strike in UK

17.04.2015  |  14:49
Queen Elizabeth II Faces Staff Strike in UK

Staff of Windsor Castle voted for industrial action Wednesday for the first time in 900 years, over a remuneration dispute.

Staff of Windsor Castle voted for industrial action Wednesday for the first time in 900 years, over a remuneration dispute.

Almost 84 percent of the workers union voted in favor of a partial strike on their unpaid extra-duties, refusing for instance to give tours to visitors and protect the artworks of the castle, the Queen's weekend getaway in Berkshire.

The action would have a “significant impact” on visitors, claimed the union.

It claimed the staff has endured years of pay restraint and is paid less than the minimum wage, as new recruits start on as little as 14,400 pounds a year, for about 36 working hours per week.

However the 76 wardens denied the dispute was with the Queen but rather with their employers, the Royal Collection Trust: “We’re all very loyal to the Queen and the royal family. We wouldn’t work here if we weren’t, said one of them to the Mirror.

“We feel part of England’s heritage. Our gripe is with the managers who run the castle in their name and keep us on such low pay it’s almost impossible to have any decent standard of living. That’s why we’re taking action.”

The Castle attracts over a million paying-visitors each years, representing a profit of over 17 million pounds used to maintain the royal facilities.

One year before, the union was offered additional allowances for the extra services they have been providing out of “good will.”

The Royal Collection Trust only commented in a statement that staff had always volunteered for additional duties.

“These activities have never been compulsory; it has always been the choice of the individual as to whether they take part. While the outcome of the ballot is disappointing, it will have no effect on services to visitors to the castle."

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