Camden traffic wardens take to picket lines

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by John Millington

STRIKING Camden traffic wardens vowed to continue their fight for the London Living Wage today refusing to rule out further strike action during the Olympics.

160 members of the Unison trade union who are employed by contractor NSL are staging a 2-day stoppage in protest at “poor wages and conditions.”

Union representatives claim that traffic wardens are paid below the LLW of £8.30 an hour with new employees on probation struggling on below 8 pounds an hour.

They also want full occupational sick pay, as the wardens currently do not receive anything for the first 3 days of illness.

Camden Unison branch secretary George Binette described the strike as “very solid” and accused management of taking advantage of a largely migrant workforce.

“Last year they had operating profit of around 10 million pounds,” he pointed out.

“They have done very well out of outsourcing of public sector services.”

“And they are making profits out of exploiting largely migrant workforce.”

He went on to add that bosses had refused to negotiate on sick pay and workers had reported harassment and bullying at several sites where NSL operate.

“Unless there are not significant changes by NSL we will not rule out further strike action during the Olympic games,” Mr Binette added.

A union representative who only wanted to be named as “John” for fear of reprisals by bosses said NSL had misrepresented the issue to the press.

“NSL did make us a 3 year offer which on the surface looks like a 10 percent increase,” he said.

“However when you break it down it is only just over 3 percent each year.”

An NSL spokesman said: “We maintain that against a background of public sector pay freezes, our pay offer is more than fair and the union demand of a 30 per cent increase is excessive.”

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