Workers on Welwyn and Hatfield council’s outsourced grounds maintenance contract, employed by Continental Landscapes, are to take substantial strike action over low pay.

Low pay

The Hertfordshire-based workforce, who are responsible for all of the council’s grounds maintenance contract, including grass cutting and hedge trimming, are currently being paid just £10.12 an hour. Continental Landscapes has offered an increase of seven per cent, however with the real rate of inflation (RPI) currently standing at 12.6 per cent, this amounts to a real terms pay cut.

The workers, who are members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, will take eight days of industrial action. They will strike on every Monday and Tuesday beginning on Monday 21 November, with the final strike day scheduled for Tuesday 13 December. The strike action will cause extensive disruption to Welwyn and Hatfield’s grounds maintenance programme.

Poverty pay

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Unite’s members are not going to accept poverty pay rates any longer. Continental Landscapes can and should pay them a decent rate of pay.

“The workers at Continental Landscapes will receive Unite’s complete support.”

Agency workers 

The workforce have a longstanding grievance that when agency workers are recruited to the contract during the summer months, the core workforce is expected to train them and ensure that safety is maintained. However, the agency workers receive a substantially higher rate of pay. Continental Landscapes indicated that it is committed to resolving this issue but the matter remains outstanding.

Unite regional officer Richard Gates said: Unite members at Continental Landscapes are paid just £10.12 an hour. At a time when inflation has hit 12.6 per cent, they need a substantial increase just to survive. All they are asking for is a decent pay increase in line with inflation, so they can keep their heads above water.”


For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.

Email: [email protected]

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.