Socialist Worker

Strikes are just the ticket for Camden traffic wardens

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2625

Jubilant scenes on the traffic wardens’ picket lines in Camden

Jubilant scenes on the traffic wardens’ picket lines in Camden (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Traffic wardens at Camden council in north London finished a solid five-day strike for higher pay on Friday of last week.

Over 120 Unison union members who work for outsourcing giant NSL are demanding £11.15 an hour.

Strikes in 2015 won workers a three-year pay deal of £10.20 an hour and bosses’ agreement to pay them 25p above the London Living Wage.

The living wage has risen to £10.20 an hour and NSL bosses are refusing to cough up any more cash.

Confident picket lines were held at five sites in the borough, with workers chanting, “Low pay, no way”.

The parking service is big money.

The traffic wardens—officially known as civil enforcement officers—helped collect £26 million in parking tickets for the council last year.

And despite NSL making a £2 million profit in 2017, bosses are refusing to pay workers more.

Low-paid 

Liz Wheatley is Camden Unison branch secretary. “It is pretty scandalous that a predominantly black, low-paid workforce is forced to have to strike every single time they want to get a pay increase,” she said.

The workers have already won a concession from NSL—but rejected the offer of £10.45 an hour.

One striker on the picket line said, “The price of everything is going up, but our pay is stagnant. We are not getting enough to keep up a minimum standard of living.

“We are standing here demanding a pay rise to £11.15 an hour.”

Strikes by Camden traffic wardens have forced bosses to cough up before. Unison should announce more dates.

To send solidarity messages or to arrange for a striker to come to speak at your meeting email unison@camden.gov.uk

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