UK HSBC staff vote on strike action

Workers at UK branches of banking giant HSBC have begun voting on whether to hold a one-day strike over pay.

Bank union Amicus is balloting its 10,000 members at HSBC to decide whether the planned strike on 27 May will go ahead. The result will be announced on 9 May.

The stoppage would take place on the same day as the bank’s annual meeting. Amicus said it would protest outside the AGM and seek support from customers at large branches.

Amicus said about 55% of UK HSBC workers covered by its pay negotiations received no salary increase or were given a rise below inflation this year.

HSBC insists just 1% of staff did not get a pay rise or bonus, of whom 80% had an unsatisfactory performance rating. A spokesman said Amicus represents less than 40% of HSBC’s UK clerical staffers and just 20% of its British workers.

HSBC reported record results for 2004 in February, with pre-tax profits jumping 37% to £9.2bn.

The strike by call centre and branch staff would be the first at a British bank since 1997, when workers withdrew their labour at Barclays.

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