Hundreds of Queen’s workers facing chop demand ‘loyalty’ from Her Majesty’s team

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Hundreds of The Queen’s workers reportedly face the sack, as the coronavirus crisis wreaks havoc on royal staff.

Royal Collection Trust (RCT) staff staged a protest outside Windsor Castle on Tuesday, September 8.

The workers demanded “loyalty” from their employers and held a sign reading: “King Henry cut off heads… now they want to axe our jobs and cut our pensions.”

The trust employs 600 people, who are in charge of royal artwork and public tours at Her Majesty's residences.

Its workers are represented by the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS), which says 102 of them have so far taken voluntary redundancy.

It claims there could also be another 200 compulsory redundancies.

Those who keep their jobs will reportedly face a 7% cut to their non-contributory pensions.

Mark Page, industrial officer at PCS, said: "Loyal staff members should not be facing threats like this.

"Even acknowledging the pandemic, vulnerable staff believe the Royal Household has enough assets to ride out the financial storm having had record numbers of ticket sales and retail sales in recent years.

"Profits directly attributed to the very department the Royal Household is now penalising."

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The PCS claims the redundancies could have been avoided if staff had been furloughed.

A RCT spokesman said: "Due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the finances of Royal Collection Trust, we have had to take a number of steps to reduce staff-related costs.

"As well as implementing a pay freeze and offering a voluntary severance programme to employees, we have just completed a period of consultation on a proposed reduction in pension contributions and will be discussing our response with the unions shortly."

Back in May, Lord Chamberlain Earl Peel – the most senior official of the royal household – reportedly warned staff that income was expected to fall by a third this year, leaving reported losses of £17.8m.

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According to The Sun, he said in an email: "We must therefore assume it could still be many weeks, if not months, before we are able to return to business as usual.

"There are undoubtedly very difficult times ahead and we realise many of you will be concerned."

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said at the time: "The whole country is very likely to be impacted financially by coronavirus and the royal household is no exception.

"However, the time to address this issue will be when the full impact of all the implications of the current situation is clearer.

"At the moment the attention of the royal household is on ensuring it follows all the guidelines and supports the national effort in combatting Covid-19."

  • Queen
  • Royal Family
  • Coronavirus

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