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Unite workers earn Christmas cheer

Unite workers earn Christmas cheer

16 December 2013

Unite refuse workers in Enfield know a rubbish deal when they see one, so when this year’s Christmas pay proposal was lower than last year’s, they binned it.

After negotiations with Enfield Council, they are now going into the holiday period and a ton of extra work having won an average 18 per cent more than the council’s first offer.

It was a similar story for Unite’s London bus controllers who also secured a decent settlement by standing firm against management.

The workers who run London’s bus stations, Thames-side piers and public transport infrastructure are traditionally paid the full rate for a shorter shift on Boxing Day. The bus controllers only discovered  that Transport For London was demanding a normal day’s work when the Christmas rotas went up.

“The reaction of our members was overwhelming,” said Unite officer Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe. “Management had simply thrown out a practice established over years. Unite rallied support for a dispute. We achieved a one-off £60 payment for the controllers who work on the 26th. We are now balloting the members to put a permanent deal in place for Boxing Day working.   

“Negotiations over Christmas working happen every year but, with austerity biting deeper, the public sector is penny-pinching wherever it can. You can’t do that with vital public services and our members know that by standing up for themselves, they can help to safeguard service standards,” said Colenzo Jarrett-Thorpe.