William Eichler 22 September 2016

London traffic wardens on strike over pay dispute

Traffic wardens in Hackney declared a 24 hour strike today as part of a pay and victimisation dispute.

A number of wardens—or civil enforcement officers (CEOs)—working in the London borough decided to go on strike due to a dispute with the international parking services company APCOA.

The union Unite estimated 60 CEOs would turn out, but only 15 decided to take part.

The strikers cited the lack of overtime rates as a major concern. CEOs only get paid the normal hourly rate for working weekends and evenings, they claim.

They also highlighted what they characterise as APCOA’s refusal to agree to make the night shift voluntary, and said the firm is only offering a bonus of £10 per night.

The striking CEO’s, who are members of the union Unite, also objected to what they describe as the ‘victimisation’ of a union representative who is facing disciplinary action for allegedly failing to fill in a holiday request form.

‘The 24-hour strike will mean that the number of parking tickets issued will slump dramatically – an important revenue stream for Hackney council that awarded the contract to APCOA,’ said Unite regional officer Onay Kasab.

‘We call on the management to negotiate in a constructive manner, otherwise more strikes will be on the cards. The disciplinary action against our rep needs to be withdrawn.’

Responding to the strike, APCOA said: ‘APCOA and Unite have not yet concluded our discussions surrounding their recent pay claim, and so this industrial action is premature given the circumstances.

‘We are pleased that the impact was minimal and that only 15 colleagues chose to take industrial action. We hope to continue our discussions with Unite and ACAS [an industrial dispute resolution organisation] in the near future.’

‘We have the full support of our client, the London Borough of Hackney during these negotiations,’ they added.

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