Socialist Worker

Angry EDF workers strike over broken pay promises

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2408

On the EDF picketline

Pickets at Bexleyheath in Kent (Pic: Socialist Worker)

Nearly 500 workers at EDF Energy struck for 24 hours on Monday of this week in sites around the London, South East, South West and Eastern regions.

The workers are members of the Unite union. 

They are mostly field engineers who repair and install meters, as well as technical support and revenue protection workers.

For some workers it was the start of longer action. 

Some 12 workers in Camden, central London, began a two-week walkout with a protest at EDF’s head office on Tuesday of this week.

Another 20 workers in Bexleyheath, Kent, are set to join them in two weeks, and there is a work-to-rule for all staff.

There were also two strike days at the beginning of May.

Members of the GMB union are also set to take industrial action short of the strike in the form of a work to rule.

The dispute centres on three main demands around pay. One is for a 2 percent pay rise and a £200 lump sum for last year.

Workers are also angry at broken agreements that mean some are paid less than their colleagues. Some have been waiting for nine years since they were first promised pay parity.

“It isn’t about the money as much as the lies,” field engineer Kevin told Socialist Worker. 

“If we can’t trust the company how can the customers?”

There was a lot of anger on the picket lines at money wasted by management, particularly on EDF’s recent expensive rebranding with its “Zingy” flame logo.

Workers also said EDF had been getting rid of jobs through 

disciplinaries and non-replacement of retiring staff. This is despite high demand for new meters.

Peter, a picket in Bexleyheath in Kent, said, “It’s not fair that they make agreements and then break them. “They want to get more work out of everyone, but they don’t want to pay up.”

The EDF workers are angry and organised, with dozens turning out on the picket lines on Monday. 

Hard hitting action against management can win.

It’s not just the workers who are furious at greedy energy bosses—there would be a lot of support from the public for a fightback too.

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Article information

Tue 17 Jun 2014, 17:14 BST
Issue No. 2408
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