Transport workers essential to keeping London moving vote for strike action
- Friday 1 November 2019
London faces travel disruption after hundreds of essential workers employed by TfL overwhelmingly voted for strike action in a dispute over derisory pay and cuts to holidays (see notes to editors).
TfL is trying to bulldoze through a derisory one per cent pay increase which amounts to a pay cut in real terms.
At the same time TfL is cutting the holidays of workers in its control centre by imposing a system of counting holidays in hours instead of days, which has the effect of slashing the workers’ holiday entitlement by five days (see note to editors).
In contrast, Gareth Powell, TfL managing director of surface transport was paid £305,649, a 10 per cent increase on his previous year’s salary, plus he received performance related pay worth £50,648.
Unite regional officer, Simon McCartney said: “TfL bosses on six figure salaries need to rethink their decision to impose a real terms pay cut on workers and to slash holidays. Unless TfL get serious about resolving this dispute the streets of London face considerable disruption in the run up to the holiday season.
“TfL staff employed in its control centre are the eyes and ears of the capital. They are having their holidays slashed by TfL bosses for no good reason. These workers play a crucial role ensuring London’s roads run smoothly. Without these workers parts of London could become gridlocked.
“Revenue protection inspectors, road transport enforcement officers and compliance officers do crucial work to protect the travelling public and to recover lost revenue for TfL. The workers are regularly abused, threatened and workers have been assaulted while carrying out their duties. They have become sick and tired of the lack of support they receive from management but TfL’s decision to impose one per cent pay was the last straw and now they are fighting back.”
Workers employed in TfL’s Surface Network Management Control Centre (NMCC), are ‘the eyes and ears’ of the capital. They control traffic flows, update the travel information service, deploy contractors to deal with accidents and manage the capital’s tunnels including the Blackwall, Rotherthithe, and Green Man tunnels. The workers are also responsible for bus diversions and bus drivers rely on the NMCC during emergencies and traffic incidents.
Revenue protection inspectors, road transport enforcement officers and compliance officers also voted for strike action. Compliance officers work around London’s hot spots for the private hire trade. They ensure passenger safety and deter, detect and prosecute members of the private hire trade who are acting illegally. Revenue inspectors are employed across the network to try to stop fare dodging. Fares evasion on London transport costs the system £100 million a year.
Notes to editors:
- 89 per cent of members in the Network Management Control Centre voted in favour of strike action and 88 per cent of members working as compliance officers, revenue protection inspectors and roads and transport enforcement officers voted for strike action.
- TfL is cutting the holidays of workers in its control centre by converting a thirty day annual leave entitlement to 210 hours annual leave, regardless of the fact that the workers shifts are all longer than seven hours, meaning that workers have to use more than one day’s annual leave entitlement to take a day off work.
Unite is a union that campaigns for and delivers better pay and conditions for its members. Unite is winning at work based on three core values. Secure Work: fighting for jobs and job security, Strong Voice: a union which is a respected voice at work and Decent Pay: a union focused on pay and conditions.
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- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.