Unite Press Release

Immediate release:  Friday 26 August 2022

Woolwich Ferry workers take a stand once again against TfL misrule

Workers begin voting on strike action against failing bosses.

TfL refuse to discuss pay as inflation reaches 12.3 per cent

TfL (Transport for London) managers running the Woolwich Ferry service have once again provoked an industrial action ballot which could spell more misery for commuters unless bosses up their game.

The employer is refusing to discuss a pay deal for 2022 when inflation is currently running at 12.3 per cent and workers face an oncoming financial catastrophe.

To make matter worse, TfL management stand accused of victimising and unfairly suspending workers on the service while failing to involve the workforce in new proposals for the running the service. 

Unite the union said the troubled ferry operation has been plagued by poor employment relations for years, first with the previous operator Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd and now with TfL which has led to more than 30 days of strike action during 2021.

Unite will ballot the 58 ferry workers over the coming weeks.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham, said: “Once again workers on the Woolwich Ferry are being bullied and treated with contempt. Prices are spiralling and workers face a cost of living emergency but bosses won’t even discuss pay for this year.

“Well, the workers won’t take it lying down and they have Unite’s full support.”

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab: “TfL have learnt nothing. During 2021 there were more than 30 days of strike action. Now the employer has provoked a new strike ballot. By failing to discuss pay in the middle of a cost of living crisis and treating workers poorly, TfL have left the workers with no other choice. 

“TfL have displayed astoundingly poor management at the expense of workers and commuters. It’s a total disgrace and we demand change.”

The free service across the Thames opened in 1889, following the abolition of tolls across bridges to the west of London. There has been a ferry in place at the site since the 14th century.


Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315 or email: [email protected]

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Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.