by Natalie Bennett
Defending traffic wardens, speaking up for them, is not always going to be a popular cause, but I’m proud that’s what Camden Green Party has been doing lately, including through letters to the local papers. Yesterday I was pleased to be able to speak at a Unison rally for them at the Town Hall marking the fact that they are now in the middle of a second strike for decent wages.
They’re currently receiving £8.09/hour for a 42.5-hour week – not even the London Living Wage – and certainly not enough for a tough, physical, stressful job in the midst of high-cost central London.
Inevitably, their role has been outsourced (by a Labour council some years ago), and they are employed by NSL (formerly part of NCP), a corporate giant that Unison reports is taking a fee of about £6 for each hour of work from the attendants (remember they’re getting just £8 for the same hour – although their compatriots in Waltham Forest are already getting £10/hour – what the Camden workers are demanding).
The long-term solution is clearly to bring these roles back “in-house” at the council – parking attendants are enforcing our democratically agreed rules for the good of all of us and should be subject to proper democratic oversight – but the contract has three years to run, and until that point, Camden council should be doing everything possible to get their contractor to pay a decent wage.
Here’s a video of what I said yesterday.
More videos from the rally can be found here.