The five days of strike action by traffic wardens working for APCOA Parking in Hackney, east London in a bid to get a proper sick pay policy has been suspended to allow talks to take place.
The 30 employees were due to strike from 00.01 on Monday (12 October) until midnight on Friday (16 October) against APCOA Parking which has the contract from Hackney council to run the service. The staff have also rejected a 1.5 per cent pay deal for this year.
The workers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, previously staged two days of strike action in August, following a 100 per cent vote for strike action.
Unite had also discovered that the company was not paying the London ‘living wage’ (LLW) of £9.15 an hour to the mainly black Asian ethnic minority (BAEM) workforce as it had been wrongly including a non-guaranteed bonus in the calculation and only 60 per cent of workers on average were hitting the bonus target.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The employers have agreed this morning (Friday 9 October) to pay the London ‘living wage’, with backdating being considered.
“The management has agreed to negotiate with Unite over a company sick pay scheme. We have agreed to do this under the auspices of the conciliation service, Acas.
“I recommended to our members this morning that we suspend the action and engage in the Acas process which was accepted.
“We shall be going into these talks in a constructive frame of mind and we hope that APCOA Parking will also engage in a positive fashion.”
The dispute came against the backdrop of the 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.
Notes to editors:
For more information please contact Unite regional officer Onay Kasab on 07771 818637 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble in the Unite press office on 020 3371 2061 or 07768 693940.
The main points of Fair Deal For Local Government campaign are:
• if services are performing well, leave them in house
• if they are not performing well, look at ways of putting it right in house
• when contracting out services, over 50 per cent of the consideration should be about quality rather than cost
• fair employment rights for transferred staff – no zero hours contracts, pay the ‘living wage’, no downward pay and conditions harmonisation
The campaign website is www.uniteforpublicservices.org
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.