Socialist Worker

Large picket lines boost Camden traffic wardens' confidence in pay battle

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2473

Traffic Wardens picket with supporters

Traffic Wardens picket with supporters (Pic: Guy Smallman )


Traffic wardens in Camden, central London, began a seven-day strike against low pay on Wednesday of last week.

This is the Unison union members’ second walkout within a month. 

Workers are fighting private contractor NSL for £9.50 an hour and better terms and conditions. They threw out bosses’ initial offer of £9.15 in January.

They currently get £8.92 an hour.

Workers say bosses are also targeting their union. 

But the strikers remain solid—and support is spreading across the workforce.

Workers held a large picket of around 40 outside the Regis Road office on Thursday of last week. 

During the last strike the two CCTV camera offices all scabbed—but this time they’ve all walked out.

Striker David told Socialist Worker, “Momentum is growing. Everyone’s much more confident with the CCTV offices out too.

“We picketed them last time and argued with them not to go into work—and now they’re out.”

The pickets sang loudly, “I’d rather be a picket than a scab” and chanted “Low pay—no way.” 

Argue 

When scabs walked out to work pickets chanted loudly and tried to argue with them. 

David told Socialist Worker, “NSL is paying them good money to do our work for us.

“They’ve got food and accommodation sorted out for them. 

“But NSL can’t even give us a small pay rise.”

Management has so far been intransigent. But solidarity is pouring in from other workers in different unions.

Workers raised over £127 at the National Gallery workers’ 100th strike day rally (see page 3).

They also got £150 from the firefighters’ FBU union’s London region and £200 from the lecturers’ UCU union London region.

They will need more  support to win.

Trade unionists and campaigners must get behind this group of workers.

Workers’ names have been changed.
Send messages of solidarity to georgebinnette@camden.gov.uk

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