Parking warden strikes to go on ‘indefinitely’

Image above: A parking warden issuing a ticket in Chiswick; photograph Marianne Mahaffey 

Strikes to go on for foreseeable future unless pay rise offered

Parking wardens across LB Hounslow have stepped up their programme of industrial action in their battle for more pay, with strikes set to go on “indefinitely”.

Hounslow’s parking wardens said strike action will not cease until they get a pay rise. Unite, the union representing them, claimed the combination of stubborn employers, poor pay and the cost of living crisis had forced workers to take all-out strike action.

Hounslow’s wardens are directly employed by Serco, which manages the contract for Hounslow Borough Council. The British company has contracts in defence, justice & immigration, transport, health, and citizen services, employing some 50,000 people worldwide, with contracts in Continental Europe, the Middle East, the Asia Pacific region, including Australia and Hong Kong, and North America.

Hounslow Council and Serco are refusing to top up workers salaries. It follows six weeks of walk-outs in January, February and March over fairer pay. Serco’s latest reported profits were £303.9 million.

Neighbouring boroughs Ealing and Brent have already boosted workers’ pay following strike action making Hounslow the outlier. Enforcement officers and CCTV operators in Ealing received a nine per cent pay increase backdated to April 2022, while new starters received a 12% pay boost. They also negotiated a further 8% pay increase from April this year and extra annual leave.

Parking officers determined to fight on, say Unite

Unite general secretary, Sharon Graham, said:

“Parking enforcement officers in Hounslow are absolutely determined to fight for an end to poor pay.

“They are now upping the ante with an indefinite strike. It’s a clear message to the council that it will not starve these workers back to work. Bosses need to realise the workers have Unite’s total support.”

A Hounslow Council spokesperson said:

“The Council remains in dialogue with Serco on this industrial dispute.

“The Council respects the fact that it is for Serco to manage these issues as an independent employer, but key senior officers from within the council have been meeting with representatives from Serco to discuss dispute resolution, given the impacts on Hounslow residents.”

Serco have not responded to the recent escalation by workers.

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