A manager at private firm NSL has been pressuring traffic wardens into writing parking tickets to meet quotas, Socialist Worker can reveal.
The firm denies that it has any targets or quotas, which are illegal. But Socialist Worker has obtained a recording of manager Paolo Orezzi telling workers in Ealing, west London, that they have “got to go out and deliver the numbers”.
“What it’s all about is going out and getting tickets,” he tells the workers. “Everybody has got to deliver on a ‘day in, day out’ basis, from the minute they go out to the minute they go home.
“Most of you know Ealing inside out and upside down. You know the hotspots, you know the CPZ [controlled parking] zones, you know where you can get things.” He adds, “If we don’t deliver, the council will ask questions.”
The revelation will be a boost for Ealing’s traffic wardens, who are striking to demand the reinstatement of a sacked union rep (see Lively picket lines of Ealing traffic wardens).
Unite rep Parveen Bhardwaj says he was fired by private contractor NSL after he raised concerns about ticket quotas.
An NSL spokesperson said the firm would not comment on the recording as they had not been able to verify it.
The spokesperson added, “The industrial action has absolutely nothing to do with alleged PCN [ticket] targets or quotas. NSL categorically denies any suggestion that we use quotas or targets linked to the number of PCNs that are issued.”
But Orezzi is heard on the tape running through the figures for tickets that different groups of workers are issuing.
“It’s the foot patrol guys who have got to start delivering numbers,” he says. “Your issue rate… is 0.69 [tickets per hour]. The car guys are nearly up to 2 an hour, the moped guys are 1.3 an hour, the evening guys are about 1.2.
“There is a large amount of pressure coming down at the moment—not just to me but to everybody on this contract. You’ve got to start delivering.”
He finishes by saying, “There are no questions. You’ve just got to go out and deliver the numbers. I’ve made it quite clear what my expectation is.”
The revelation comes as workers prepare to walk out on strike again. Last time they had a lively picket demanding Parveen’s reinstatement.
The official reason for Parveen’s sacking in November last year was that he falsified entries in his notebook.
Parveen denies this—and the notebook in question had gone missing by the time of his disciplinary hearing.
The workers have also raised concerns over pay. Their jobs were transferred from Ealing council to NSL under Tupe regulations.
Legally this means their pay and conditions should remain the same under NSL. But Socialist Worker has seen payslips that show they have lost up to £120 a month since the transfer in April 2010.
The traffic wardens were paid a basic salary of £1,575.75 per month at the council before tax and deductions.
But at NSL they are paid £9.09 per hour—meaning that workers doing 160 hours a month only receive £1,454.40 before tax and deductions.
An NSL spokesperson denied this, saying, “When former Ealing council employees moved to NSL on 1 April 2010 we followed all Tupe regulations.”
The workers have started a petition demanding the removal of Paolo Orezzi as their manager, the reinstatement of their full contract pay and an end to dismissals of union members.
Thanks to Raymie Kiernan