Employer backs down after strike action

Tim Lezard Europe, UK, Public (PSI), Unite,

traffic meterTraffic wardens in Hackney in east London have won a major victory after Unite secured them the London Living Wage and a proper company sick pay policy after last ditch talks to avert strike action.

APCOA Parking, the workers private sector employer, had no company sick pay policy, with members only entitled to statutory sick pay (SSP). The company has now agreed to introduce a sick pay scheme of 15 days over a rolling year.

The deal, following talks at the conciliation service Acas, also sees the London living wage introduced with immediate effect and backdated to November 2014, along with a 1.5 per cent pay increase.

The firm has also committed to upgrade traffic warden pay each November in line with annual increases to the London living wage.

The 30 Unite members will vote on the new deal at a meeting on Tuesday.

Onay Kasab Unite regional officer said: “This is a fantastic victory for low paid workers and testament to the resolve of our members. If it hadn’t have been for the two days of strike action this summer, then the company would have continued with its refusal to get around the negotiating table.

“It is only because our members took strike action that Unite was able to negotiate a better deal. The government’s ideologically driven Trade Union Bill threatens that basic right to strike and will make it harder for low paid workers like Hackney’s traffic wardens to secure a fair deal in the workplace.”

The dispute comes against the backdrop of a Fair Deal For Local Government campaign by Unite’s London and Eastern region which has almost 300,000 members. The campaign is aimed against privatisation and austerity in local government.

The campaign is a set of proposals that Unite is putting to councils in the region. It is a procurement strategy to ensure that quality services are maintained and that there is no ‘race to the bottom’ for pay and conditions post any transfer.


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Tim Lezard

Campaigning journalist, editor of @Union_NewsUK, NUJ exec member; lover of cricket, football, cycling, theatre and dodgy punk bands

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