Socialist Worker

Wardens’ strike just the ticket to resist

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2470

Supporters joined strikers on the picket line last week

Supporters joined strikers on the picket line last week (Pic: Tom Kay )


Traffic wardens in Camden, central London, walked out for four days on Wednesday of last week.

The Unison union members are fighting bosses’ attacks on pay, terms and conditions.

Unison rep Jeremy told Socialist Worker, “The main issue for us is pay—what we get is well below the London Living Wage.

“Yet NSL made £60 million in profits last year.”

The union has been demanding £10.50 an hour and better terms and conditions for the last three years. 

Workers threw out bosses’ initial offer of £9.15 in January and are now demanding £9.50 an hour.

But the dispute isn’t just about pay. Jack said, “Every day I go out there’s a risk I’ll be assaulted. I go home stressed and tired.

“That’s because there’s a popular misconception that we work for commission.

Abuse

“We wouldn’t get so much abuse if people knew that we don’t, but the council isn’t doing much about that.”

Jim told Socialist Worker, “You currently don’t get sick pay for the first three days. 

“But that includes workers on ‘code red’, who get hurt while working outside.”

The walkout was solid with only a few workers going in. 

Jim said, “Management have tried to use threats of redundancy and disciplinaries against reps. 

“But we’re solid.”

Workers descended on the old town hall in Camden on the second day of their strike and held a militant rally. 

FBU union London regional secretary Paul Embery told the rally, “If anyone is not aware of your dispute then they soon will be. We’ll make them aware.”

To chants of, “Low pay, no way” workers marched on Camden town hall. 

More strike dates are expected to be announced soon. Every trade unionist should back this dispute. 

Solidarity details at bit.ly/1NXLm6P
Workers’ names have been changed 

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Article information

News
Tue 8 Sep 2015, 17:50 BST
Issue No. 2470
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