Ealing’s Labour council ‘actively helping’ Serco ‘hound’ union rep from civil enforcement job
- Tuesday 18 May 2021
Unite has expressed outrage that Labour-controlled Ealing council is ‘actively helping’ outsourced service provider Serco ‘hound’ a senior union rep on strike over union-busting from his civil enforcement job.
A council officer has written to Serco requesting the Unite rep, who has performed his job for two decades, be removed from duties for bringing the council into ‘disrepute’.
The officer justified the decision because the Unite rep stated on social media that Ealing council would lose revenue from Parking Charge Notices during ongoing strikes by more than 40 Serco civil enforcement officers.
Despite the statement being factually accurate and containing no mention of parking policy motivations, the council is wrongly claiming that the union rep ‘conveys the council as a purely revenue generating authority’.
The same union rep, along with a number of his colleagues, was previously offered severance by Serco in order to undermine trade union organisation, which resulted in the ongoing strike action.
Unite said it is ‘inconceivable’ that a Labour council would ‘unjustly intervene’ in a dispute over union-busting in favour of an outsourcer, especially when it is party policy to bring services back in-house and all three Ealing MPs have spoken out in support of the striking workers.
This evening (18 May) is the first full council meeting since Peter Mason was made leader following the local elections on 6 May. Unite is calling on all council members to speak out against the demand for the union rep's removal and for the decision to be reversed.
The union is also calling for the profitable civil enforcement contract to be removed from Serco and run by the council.
Unite regional officer Clare Keogh said: “As the situation stands Ealing’s Labour-controlled council is actively helping Serco hound a union rep on strike for union-busting out of his job. An injury to one is an injury to all and the council should rest assured that Unite will use its full power to fight this injustice.
“It is inconceivable that a Labour council would use trumped up charges to unjustly intervene in favour of an outsourcing company doing its utmost to undermine trade union organisation. This is just days after all three Ealing MPs joined the picket line in support of Serco’s workers.
“The fact that this union rep can be so offhandedly culled from his position, after spending 20 years working on behalf of the council, is exactly why Labour stands against the pernicious impacts outsourcing has on jobs and services.
“Tonight, is the first council meeting under the new leadership of Peter Mason. Unite calls on every single Ealing councillor to speak out against this decision this evening and for Mr Mason and his cabinet to reverse it with immediate effect
“Mr Mason also has the opportunity to prove that his ambitious plans for Ealing come to more than just lip service by sacking Serco and bringing the civil enforcement team under council control.”
Unite has set up a petition calling on Ealing's councillors to reverse the decision Unite's Serco rep of his duties.
Ealing parking strikes latest in series of industrial disputes to hit outsourcer Serco
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Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.