Claim Serco has been targeting union activists
Serco employees protesting outside Ealing Town Hall last year. Picture: Helen Pattison
Over 40 civil enforcement officers in Ealing borough are set to hold strike action.
The staff, who are responsible for giving out parking fines, are employed by outsourcing company Serco.
In a near unanimous vote, they will strike after Serco made elected Unite representatives and activists redundant in what is claimed to be an attempt to undermine trade union organisation. The dates for the strikes have yet to be announced.
The employees also say that Serco is refusing to negotiate a new absence management policy for employees working on the Ealing contract. Unite believes the present policy is being used to unfairly dismiss employees and should be renegotiated.
The relationship between management and the union deteriorated in 2109 when Unite says a restructuring and redundancy programme was instituted without consultation.
Unite regional officer Clare Keogh said, “Last year our members defeated Serco’s attempts to carry out unnecessary job losses among Ealing’s civil enforcement officers.
“The company’s severance offers to union reps, activists and others are a blatant attempt to weaken trade union organisation and force through more unacceptable plans.
“The workforce will not stand for such behaviour and there will be parking chaos on Ealing’s already over congested roads unless Serco tables plans our members can accept.
“It is no surprise that Serco’s race to the bottom tactics of targeting staff and degrading services is the cause of three disputes with Unite members across three different sectors. “
The union is advocating that outsourced services should be brought back in house by councils wherever possible.
A Serco spokesperson said, "We were surprised by Unite’s decision to call a ballot as we believe we have been fully transparent with the union at every stage and we have willingly and openly shared information. All Serco’s employees are covered by the same sickness procedures and policies to ensure consistency and fair treatment across the business. We remain open to meet the Unite to discuss the issues they have raised.”
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April 18, 2021