Parking attendants set to strike

Rich boss Serco offers a zero to 20p an hour ‘rise’

Reading time: 4 min

There’s a real chance of free parking for car drivers in West London happening this month, as Unite parking attendant members give their full and unanimous support to industrial action.

If employer Serco takes no action to improve its derisory offer then the civil enforcement officers and CCTV operators will strike for two weeks between January 18 and 31.

Wealthy firm Serco’s pay offer of just 20p an hour – or zero for workers on the real living wage, is both offensive and beyond comprehension. This Victorian mill owner-style ‘pay rise’ has left workers with no option other than to take action and has sparked the strike.

Unless the outsourcer Serco significantly improves its measly pay offer to these essential council workers there could well be free parking across the London boroughs of Hounslow, Ealing and Brent this month.

Unite has served notice of industrial action today (January 4) to Serco which provides parking services to the three London boroughs. To add some perspective the giant outsourcing company’s latest profits were £303.9m.

The current pay offer amounts to a 1.7 per cent pay increase for workers in Ealing who earn £11.35 an hour. Workers on the Hounslow and Brent contracts currently earn just £11.05 an hour. They have been offered nothing above the rate for the real living wage.

 “It’s an absolute disgrace that a hugely profitable business like Serco has put this offensive offer to this workforce,” commented Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham.

“Little wonder then that these essential council workers across West London have begun the New Year with a 100 per cent vote for strike action.

“The civil enforcement officers and CCTV operators are joining forces to fight back against Serco, an outsourcer with a track record of paying workers poorly.

“Serco has to give itself a shake and get back to the table, ready to make these workers a reasonable and fair pay offer.

“If not, the workers’ unanimous strike vote will be matched by Unite’s total support,” she added.

The workers are embarking on a co-ordinated campaign to demand a substantial pay increase when inflation is at 14 per cent (RPI). 

“Serco and the London boroughs still have time to prevent a strike and the resulting loss of income,” added Unite acting national officer Clare Keogh.  

“If the strike goes ahead it will mean free parking while workers fight for fair pay. The truth is that the council workers face real hardship when inflation is around eight times higher than their pay offer. For workers on the living wage, it’s hardly enough to live on.”

By Ciaran Naidoo