Bank of England staff have voted to strike over pay in the first strike action for over 50 years, the Unite union said on Monday. Ciara Lee asks how damaging the action could be, particularly at a time when investors are seeking reassurance over the UK economy.
It would be the first strike action in over 50 years - Bank of England staff have voted to strike over pay. The Unite union says workers in the maintenance, parlours and security departments will be taking four days of action from the end of the month. The dispute is over a one percent increase. And if the bank fails to resolve it, the union plans to consult its members across other departments as part of an "escalation plan." It comes at a challenging time, as investors look for stability and calm in the UK economy, after weeks of political chaos. But if they were seeking reassurance in the latest manufacturing data, they were likely disappointed. British factories grew slower than expected in June as export orders rose at the weakest pace in five months. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CITY INDEX, MARKET ANALYST, KEN ODELUGA, SAYING: "What you're seeing in this case is the first sort of reluctance, maybe a sort of elasticity - price elasticity effects - happening. Where overseas buyers are starting to see, starting to react to some of the price rises that they're experiencing from the UK." Britain's economy barely grew in the first three months of the year. Consumers are facing the double hit of rising inflation, caused in part by the fall in the pound since the Brexit vote, and slowing wage growth. The manufacturing data shows that even the silver lining of a weak currency - more competitive exports - is proving elusive. It comes just as some policymakers at the BoE had started to signal that a first rate hike in a decade might be approaching in an attempt to curb the sharp rise in inflation. This latest data though might make officials think twice about raising rates just yet.