Bank of England workers on strike for first time in 50 years

By LEONORE SCHICK Markets Associated Press

Striking employees at the Bank of England wore comical masks depicting the face of Governor Mark Carney on Tuesday as they stood outside the institution demanding better pay.

Continue Reading Below

The three-day strike — the central bank's first in over 50 years — came after workers failed to reach a deal that would allow them to keep their wages growing as much as inflation, which is now at 2.6 percent annually.

Some 40 workers, including maintenance and security workers, carried signs reading "Bank of England staff want fair pay."

An official with the union, Unite, Peter Kavanagh, said the workers had "been left with no choice but to take industrial action because they are facing another year of having to endure a pay cut imposed upon them."

Kavanagh said Carney should meet the protesters to explain "why hardworking men and women deserve to face years of pay cuts."

The central bank noted that the number of strikers is small and says it will "continue to operate as normal during this period." The bank issued a statement which said it had been in talks with the union, "and remains ready to continue those talks at any time."