Barclays plays down dispute

Tom Stevenson

Financial Editor

Barclays attempted to play down the commencement of limited industrial action by just over 10 per cent of its staff yesterday, saying there would be no disruption from the proposed work to rule and a limited overtime ban.

Around 7,000 workers out of a group total of 60,000 voted in favour of industrial action without going as far as strike action. At issue is a new pay and grading structure introduced on 1 July which replaced the previous system of across the board pay increases with a new regime of performance and market related pay rises.

According to Barclays' two unions, Unifu and Bifu, the new system will amount to a pay freeze for many staff. A bank spokesman disputed that, saying all staff would get a pay rise next year and arguing that the proposed changes could end up costing the group more.

The spokesman said the group would not return to the negotiating table. Barclays claims to have undergone five months of negotiations before announcing the new deal.