Socialist Worker

Hackney traffic wardens won’t wait to win pay justice

by Tomáš Tengely-Evans
Issue No. 2691

A solid picket line in Hackney

A solid picket line in Hackney (Pic: Gareth Jenkins)


Traffic wardens in Hackney, east London, launched a two-week walkout for higher pay on Monday.

The 40 Unite union members, who are currently on the London Living Wage of £10.75 an hour, are fighting for £15 an hour.

Workers’ other demands include improved sick pay from bosses at outsourcer Apcoa—and for Labour-run Hackney council to take them back in-house.

David, a Unite member, told Socialist Worker, “Apcoa is a very large company with lots of money and we work indirectly for the council.

“But our terms and conditions are very low compared to other council employees.

“We struck two years ago and won 20 days sick pay.

“But the company tries to penalise people through an ‘attendance management programme’.

“If you have five or more sick days you’re on a stage three investigation and that’s very serious.”

Traffic warden Peter added, “We have no London weighting to help us with transport costs in and out of work.”

Anger 

Workers’ anger goes deeper than pay and terms and conditions.

Bart, another worker, told Socialist Worker, “There is no respect whatsoever from management.

“When we said we were going on strike, it was the first time they tried to be friendly towards us.”

Traffic wardens were set to rally outside Hackney council’s offices on Hillman Street on Wednesday and Thursday.

They planned to protest outside the Apcoa headquarters in Uxbridge, west London, on Friday of next week.

Workers’ names have been changed. Join the protest, Fri 21 Feb, 11am, Wellington House, 4-10 Cowley Rd, Uxbridge UB8 2XW.

Fighting bullying bin bosses

Two groups of bin workers in London are being balloted for strikes over pay and allegations of bullying.

Around 120 refuse depot workers in Tory-run Bexley council have had enough of earning £4 an hour less than colleagues in the neighbouring borough of Greenwich.

The Unite union members at the refuse depots work for outsourcing giant Serco.

The ballot ends on Friday 21 February.

Meanwhile, around 250 bin workers in Tower Hamlets could strike “imminently” over holiday pay arrears.

The Unite union members in the east London borough are voting on strikes in a ballot that is also set to end on 21 February.

They are owed up to £9,000 in holiday pay by Veolia.

The outsourcer manages the service on a contract to the Labour-run council.

Unite said, “Veolia has forced individual workers to use the legal system to claim back the arrears.”


Labour council uses Tory law

Disgracefully the Labour-run Tower Hamlets council in east London is taking the NEU union to court in an effort to halt a strike.

A hearing was scheduled for Friday this week. Unison, GMB and NEU union members are balloting for strikes over attempts to slash terms and conditions.

Consultative ballots saw overwhelming votes to strike.

The unions must defy this attack.

Sign the protest petition at bit.ly/THpetition

ICT workers in Glasgow ballot for strikes 

ICT workers at Glasgow City Council are voting on whether to strike over vicious job cuts.

Some 180 Unison union members provide ICT support to schools, social care services and other departments.

They are fighting bosses’ failure to replace roles when workers leave jobs.

Workers are outsourced to private firm CGI and are in dispute over staffing levels and retaining terms and conditions agreed when the contract was tendered.

Join the workers’ lobby, Tuesday 18 Feb, 12.30pm, CGI building, 151 West George Street, G2 2JJ

Anger over local government pay 

Local government workers’ unions in England and Wales have rejected the employers’ latest pay offer.

More than one million workers are in the GMB, Unite and Unison unions whose negotiators said no to a 2 percent increase.

The figure is below the RPI rate of inflation and represents a pay cut.

And local government workers have seen their pay cut by 22 percent in real terms since 2010.

The unions’ claim would see the lowest paid receive £10 an hour and others get a 10 percent rise. 


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