The prospect of strike action by some 140 Camden UNISON members on the NSL parking enforcement contract moved significantly closer on Wednesday (27 June) with the close of a three week long ballot. Nearly 98% of those taking part in the postal vote said ‘yes’ to strike action, with a slightly smaller percentage backing industrial action short of a strike. The turnout was an impressive 62.8% – higher than in the recent local elections.
The vast majority of UNISON members on the NSL contract, where the branch won recognition last year on the basis of union density, currently earn less than £8.10 an hour, more than 20 pence below the current London Living Wage of £8.30. Dates for official action have yet to be confirmed, but unless there is significant movement by NSL management to address the workers’ play claim, a strike in the first half of July looks likely.
Branch Secretary George Binette said, “The resounding ‘yes’ vote shows that members on the NSL contract are both angry at chronic low pay and determined to do something about it, despite threats of redundancy, frequent disciplinary hearings and the circulation of rumours about improved pay offers. The Camden parking contract is both long-term and lucrative, with a value of nearly £45 million, so there can be no excuse for the continuation of poverty rates of pay in one of Europe’s most expensive cities.”
Further information about how branch members elsewhere can support the NSL membership in their fight will feature on the website in the near future.