The Royal Family are facing the prospect of staff at Windsor Castle taking independent industrial action for the first time.
Around 120 of the castle’s visitor staff are balloting over whether or not to take action over unpaid additional duties such as giving guided tours, acting as interpreters or providing first aid. The castle charges tourists for these services.
If industrial action is decided it will start at the end of April.
The staff considering action are employees of the Royal Collection Trust, which manages the castle as a tourist attraction. They have said that they narrowly accepted an unsatisfactory pay offer last year on the promise that their salary would be improved this year. This did not happen.
PCS General Secretary Mark Serwotka said that “these workers are loyal to their employer and absolutely committed to ensuring visitors are given the royal treatment.”
“It is scandalous that staff are so appallingly paid and expected to do work for free that brings in money for the Royal Family.”
The Royal Collection Trust, which made over £8 million in profit last year, issued a statement saying: “Warden staff are offered voluntary opportunities to receive training and develop skills to lead guided tours for visitors as part of their working day and to administer first aid, as well as use their language skills.”
“These are not compulsory aspects of their role, and it is the choice of the individual whether they wish to take part.”
With the threat of industrial action looming, the Royal Collection Trust may want to ask whether their staff believe that these additional aspects of their job roles are voluntary or otherwise.