Ealing parking strikes end

Outsourcing giant Serco apologises for union busting and agrees reform

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Strikes impacting parking enforcement in Ealing have ended after outsourcing giant Serco issued an apology over its union busting tactics and agreed to reform.

Nearly 50 civil enforcement officers, who are employed by Serco on the Ealing council parking enforcement contract, will now return to work after taking strike action since early May.

The dispute centred on the company’s attempts to undermine trade union organisation and collective consultation by offering severance agreements to Unite representatives and lay members.

Workers were also angry at the company’s refusal to negotiate on its absence policy, which was being used to target staff.

Industrial action has now ended after the enforcement officers voted to accept an apology from Serco over the severance offers.

Serco also signed an agreement with Unite implementing new anti-bullying and harassment measures, adding additional protections against dismissal within the absence policy and improving the terms governing compassionate leave.

Unite regional officer Clare Keogh said, “Our members stood together on the picket line for three months to protect their trade union and collective bargaining rights.

“They understand that employers would much prefer workers to be atomised and unable to organise as a group to defend themselves and seek improvements to pay and terms and conditions,” she added.

“Unite’s position remains that public contracts, such as parking enforcement in Ealing, should be taken out of the hands of outsourcers and brought back inhouse by local authorities.

“The union, however, looks forward to improved industrial relations with Serco in Ealing now that this dispute has ended.”

By Ryan Fletcher

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