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Ferry strike off

Action suspended after progress in talks
Shaun Noble, Thursday, April 13th, 2017

Tuesday’s 24-hour strike (April 18) that would have hit travellers using the Woolwich Ferry has been suspended, as talks in the dispute over a bullying culture make progress.


Unite said today (April 13) that Tuesday’s 24-hour strike had been suspended to allow for further talks to take place on Thursday (April 20).


Depending on how those negotiations progress with Briggs Marine Contractors Ltd, which runs the service on behalf of Transport for London (TfL), a decision will then be made about whether the 24-hour strike on Friday (April 21) goes ahead.


“We are pleased to say that enough progress has been made so we can suspend Tuesday’s 24 hour strike,” said Unite regional officer Onay Kasab.


“There will be a restructuring of the management and the creation of a wider management layer, including supervisors and chargehands.


“One of the key issues was a lack of trust and confidence in the employer – and the new proposals go a long way in addressing this particular issue which is a big win for the solidarity shown by our members,” he added.


“However, other issues remain, including investigating the case of alleged sexual harassment, and health and safety and allowances.”


Workers, belonging to Unite and the GMB, took two days of strike action – January 27 and  February 3 – before suspending industrial action so that talks could take place.


About 3,500 vehicles a day use the free service across the Thames which opened in 1889, following the abolition of tolls across bridges to the west of London. An estimated two million passengers also use the ferry annually.


There has been a ferry has been in place at the site since the 14th century.


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