Socialist Worker

Traffic wardens’ strikes can put the clamp on bosses

by Sarah Bates
Issue No. 2638

jubilant scenes on the picket lines last year

jubilant scenes on the picket lines last year (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Traffic wardens in north London are gearing up for another round of strikes for higher pay.

Around 120 Unison union members in Camden are planning a 14-day walkout from Monday 4 February.

Strikers voted for indefinite action at the end of a two week walkout in December.

And since the dispute, most traffic wardens have only been working their ­contracted hours.

They are employed by ­outsourcer NSL which has a ­contract with Labour-run Camden council.

Camden Unison branch secretary Liz Wheatley spoke to Socialist Worker in a personal capacity. She said the workers are “determined and not giving up”.

“They’re low paid and losing money when they’re taking action,” she said.

“But they understand the only way they’ve ever got anything is through ­organising and taking action together.”

A round of strikes in 2016 won workers a three-year pay deal of £10.20 an hour and bosses’ agreement to pay 25p above the London Living Wage. The living wage has been increased to £10.55 an hour but NSL bosses are refusing to increase workers’ pay.

The action is starting to see results, with ­workers expecting a lump sum in this month’s pay packet. Workers were paid £10.20 an hour until April 2018 when NSL bosses decreased pay to £10 an hour—withholding the extra 20p until the pay dispute was resolved. But bosses have now relented and agreed to pay the extra this month. Trade unionists should build solidarity for the picket lines and join them.

To send solidarity messages or to arrange for a striker to come to speak at your meeting email [email protected]

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