Unite News Release

For immediate release: Monday 20 March 2023

Woolwich Ferry workers make waves with a double digit pay hike after years of unrest.

Car park assistant’s pay will increase by £6,131

Years of campaigning including strike action paves the way for a hard fought agreement with TfL

A massive pay victory for Woolwich Ferry workers brings years of industrial unrest on the river Thames to an end.

Following a series of strikes against low pay and bullying, the absolute determination of Woolwich Ferry workers has ultimately delivered an excellent pay deal which at long last recognises the contribution the workers make to the operation of the service.

Car park assistants are in line to receive a 26 per cent increase from this April. They will also get an additional 7 per cent to recognise weekend working.

Vessel crews will also receive significant increases in basic pay. For example senior deckhands on the Briggs contracts will see pay increase from £32,996 to £39,018, an increase of over 18 per cent to be implemented from April 2023. The vessel crews will receive an additional 10 per cent allowance to recognise night working.

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham said: “Our members’ long-running campaign for fair pay has succeeded.  At long last TfL has agreed to a pay deal which puts an end to years of industrial unrest on the Thames.

“This agreement would not have been possible without the steely determination of the workforce and their preparedness for strike action. It’s more evidence that Unite is continuing to deliver better jobs, terms and conditions for its members.”

The troubled ferry operation had been plagued by poor employment relations, first with the previous operator Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd and then with TfL when it took control of the service in January 2021.

Unite lead national officer, Onay Kasab said: “This is a hard fought win that has only come about after our members took significant periods of strike action.

“While some outstanding issues still need to be resolved, Unite has ensured that there is a genuine review process in place so we can continue to push on these additional areas. What’s absolutely crucial here is that Unite has once again secured a double digit pay increase for our members in the midst of a cost of living crisis.”


Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315  

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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.