3i UNION BUSTERS – will be beaten says GMB

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GMB members working for NCP demanding union recognition yesterday outside the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane
GMB members working for NCP demanding union recognition yesterday outside the Dorchester Hotel in Park Lane

‘DESPITE five days of strike action by 55 members of the GMB, NCP, owned by private equity group 3i, is refusing to recognise the union,’ GMB Regional Organiser Rob Kelsall said on a picket of London’s Dorchester Hotel yesterday.

Pickets handed out leaflets to passers-by and those attending the British Parking Awards lunch being held at the hotel.

Kelsall told News Line: ‘We have three further days of strike action planned and are confident that with our members’ determination we will force this company to recognise the union.’

He added: ‘GMB is leading the fight against the asset stripping of venture capitalists and whilst we note with interest the Treasury Select Committee announcement that it is looking for full transparency, we are not convinced that this will prevent the venture capitalist tirade across our industries and public services.’

NCP GMB shop steward, Francis Forjour said: ‘We are fighting appalling working conditions. If you get hit doing your job NCP doesn’t pay you whilst you are sick and they threaten to sack you if you don’t come to work. We get just £7 an hour and suffer abuse.’

Anita Asamoah said: ‘They call you on the radio twice a day and if you haven’t issued enough tickets they pressure you to issue more.’

Daniel Amoako said: ‘NCP is owned by 3i. They exploit their employees through low salary, minimum annual leave and no sick pay. NCP and 3i are only interested in their business and how they will make profits at the end of the year or month.’

The next three days of strike action are due to take place on Monday 12, Saturday 17 and Wednesday 21 March.

A GMB statement issued yesterday said: ‘Britain’s car parks are being asset stripped by private equity companies.

‘NCP is up for sale again by 3i eighteen months after they bought it from Cinven.

‘They are reported to be making a profit of £245 million or 45 per cent from the sale to Macquarie Bank, another private equity company.’

Meanwhile, 3i has launched its 3i Infrastructure company on the stock exchange, putting in £85m of 3i cash and transferring £240m of assets, the majority of which include 3i’s stake in the water company AWG, and the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

A 3i Infrastructure floatation on the stock exchange on Thursday did not come up to expectations, raising only £700m of an intended £1.3bn, raising doubt about the viability of 3i.

A TGWU spokesman said: ‘This shows once again that messing around with the private sector in our valued public sector, such as the NHS, leads to chaos, confusion and cuts.

‘Our message to the government and the private sector is “back off”.’