Socialist Worker

Camden wardens strike blow against poverty pay

by Tom Walker
Issue No. 2333

Traffic wardens in Camden, north London, have won a pay rise of 10 percent over the next two years following strikes.

Their Unison union called off planned strikes this week after settling the dispute with private parking contractor NSL. The 160 workers had held an escalating series of walkouts, including a three-day strike during the Olympics in August.

They won a 4 percent rise this year, backdated to September, and 3 percent rises in 2013 and 2014. This will take their wage from £8.09 per hour to £8.92 per hour. The bosses’ original offer was only a quarter of this.

Workers had demanded £10 per hour. As Unison branch secretary George Binette said, the deal “falls well short of achieving the workers’ original, justified, demands”. However he added, their “actions and determination” had “struck a small but real blow against poverty pay”.

This is a group of low-paid, outsourced workers who built the union in their workplace and organised hard-hitting strikes. Their bravery in the face of NSL bosses should be an example to others. They could have won even more if Unison’s leaders had raised wider solidarity and allowed more action.

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Tue 11 Dec 2012, 18:11 GMT
Issue No. 2333
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