Residents of Ealing in West London are set to face over a week of parking and traffic problems as a result of strike action by civil enforcement officers employed by Serco in the borough.
The members of Unite will begin an eight day strike tomorrow (February 27) and normal service will not resume until Friday, March 6.
The workforce are responsible for ensuring that resident parking areas are obeyed, streets with double yellow lines are kept clear and both emergency and waste vehicles are not delayed when they access residential roads.
The dispute is a result of a botched and unjustified restructuring and redundancy programme that Serco had tried to instigate, with minimal consultation with Unite.
Such is the strength of feeling about Serco’s actions that the workforce voted 100 per cent in favour of strike action.
Unite initially suspended the strike first planned for the end of January, after Serco removed the threat of compulsory redundancies. However, it then transpired that staff would be expected to work longer hours and undertake more tasks under the new structure, with no increase in holiday entitlement.
Unite regional officer Clare Keogh said, “Feelings are running very high among our members who believe they have no choice but to take strike action.
“It is inevitable that the strike action will result in severe disruption on Ealing’s already over congested roads but this is entirely a result of Serco’s high handed actions which is negatively impacting our members’ lives,” she added.
“Serco has embarked on an unjustified redundancy and restructuring programme which has resulted in a complete breakdown of trust in the employer.
“It is essential that Serco returns to the negotiating table and starts acting reasonably to ensure that the dispute does not escalate further.”