The prospect of residents in Hackney north London, becoming mired in a parking meltdown next month has dramatically increased after peace talks brokered by the conciliation service Acas collapsed yesterday (June 27).
The dispute involves 40 traffic wardens employed in Hackney. The workers are members of Unite and are employed by private contractor APCOA Parking (UK) Ltd, on an outsourced contract tendered by the council.
Strike action has been called for six continuous days beginning on Monday, July 9 at 00:01am and ending at 23:59pm on Saturday, July 14. With no traffic enforcement, motorists will be able to park where they choose. Residents face the prospect of not being able to park outside of their own homes, despite having paid for the privilege, with no redress.
The dispute concerns a pay claim for a five per cent increase from April 2018, unfair and discriminatory working practices, which includes: unfair implementation of sickness procedures, unfair implementation of holiday allocation and a demand to enhance the long service award.
The Acas talks collapsed yesterday (June 27) after APCOA refused to discuss pay, citing they needed first to discuss the issues with the client Hackney council.
“Time is fast running out if these strikes, which will cause traffic and parking chaos throughout Hackney are to be avoided,” said Unite regional officer Onay Kasab.
“It is simply incredible that APCOA still has not discussed the planned strike action with the council,” he added. “Our members are taking strike action as a last resort due to APCOA’s failure to enter into meaningful negotiations.
“As APCOA appear to be enfeebled and unable to resolve this dispute, it is clear that Hackney councillors need to step in if they wish to avoid chaos on their roads.
“Our members simply want to receive a fair deal. APCOA sees the London Living Wage as the maximum wage, when it is in the minimum that someone can live on.
“On occasion our members have had knives held to the throat when they have simply been undertaking their jobs. They are simply asking for fair pay and be treated with fairness, decency and respect.”
An initial 48 hours of strike action took place in May, which caused widespread disruption throughout the borough.