By John Millington
A pregnant worker who spoke to the press during a legal strike action has been threatened with a “gross misconduct” charge by her managers, union sources revealed today.
The worker, who does not want to be identified, spoke out to the press during a 2-day strike by 160 Camden traffic wardens last week.
Following her comments bosses at contractor NSL insisted she attend an “investigative interview” this afternoon without the presence of a Unison representative.
Once there, she claims managers threatened to charge her with gross misconduct over her comments although nothing has been submitted in writing.
Union negotiators and bosses had been due to attempt to settle the dispute before any further industrial action but that now looks in jeopardy.
Speaking to the Dreadnaught, Camden Unison secretary George Binette said: “We had hoped to restart talks as early as this Friday with NSL, but this latest development has rightly incensed members at the base and left us doubtful that the company is actually committed to resolving the dispute. Can we negotiate in good faith when such an atmosphere of intimidation prevails?”
The worker, who is 30 weeks pregnant and was due to start maternity leave in less than three weeks, was reportedly in a “state of shock” after attending the “investigative interview” with local managers this afternoon.
Earlier Unison members took part in a lively lobby of Camden’s Labour-controlled cabinet, which also heard a shop steward from the NSL contract tell councilors, “After 12 years as a privatised services the wages of Camden NSL workers still lag behind those of the handful of remaining ex-Camden parking staff by almost 30%. But we also have families to feed and this is very difficult to do in London on less than £18,000 a year.”
More action is expected if the deadlock remains with workers considering strike action during the Olympics.
* The Dreadnaught has contacted NSL for comment and is awaiting a reply.