Newham council is facing a third industrial dispute in as many weeks over the way it treats a key group of workers, Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, said today (Wednesday 24  April).

Three gas managers working in the repairs management service will strike for 48 hours from 00.01 on Thursday 9 May, following the management’s withdrawal of a call out payment without consultation last December.

The payment is worth about £550 a month and Unite calculates that its members have already lost more than £2,000 during that period.

This action follows on from disputes that have seen 75 employees working in housing repairs being balloted for strike action over a myriad of issues, including a plan to introduce a new pay structure which cuts pay by 20 per cent from 1 June this year.

Also, 45 refuse workers are being balloted for strike action over the council’s failure to progress them through the grading structure which should have commenced 12 years ago. Unite estimates that individuals could have lost up to £20,000 each as a result.

Both these ballots close towards the end of May.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Newham council is now facing a third dispute, following the unilateral withdrawal of the call out payment worth £550 a month from our gas manager members. Our members can’t afford to lose such a large segment of their income.

“They will strike for 48 hours early next month and their action will disrupt the repairs service, unless the management enters into a constructive dialogue to settle their grievances. 

“It is has become apparent that Newham council is beleaguered by a very poor HR culture – the results of which are coming home to roost. Now is the time for the council’s bosses to put their employment practices under the microscope and rapidly make much needed improvements.”


Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065

Email: [email protected]

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.