EALING Parking Services workers were on the picket line outside Ealing Town Hall yesterday on the third day of three days of strike action this week against the privateer Serco.
They are fighting Serco’s attacks on their terms and conditions and against the victimisation of their union reps and they want Ealing Council to sack Serco and their employment to be brought back in-house.
Strikers on the picket line are calling for indefinite strike action to win their fight quickly.
Unite Branch Secretary Harjinder Nagi told News Line: ‘Serco must go. We want all-out action. All the members are ready for all-out action now. No longer two or three days at a time, we want to strike seven days a week now in order to shake Serco.
‘We have handed Serco notification for the next round of industrial action, various dates over the course of the next month starting with three days from 23rd June, but now we are going to organise a new ballot to strike continuously and we will win that ballot.’
Strikers are angry that they have just received a letter from Serco management saying that it is sending ‘mystery shoppers’ out on the streets to monitor their work.
Striker and Unite member Georgi Armenov told News Line: ‘Serco can’t be allowed to send these “mystery shoppers” to monitor us. It is designed to put pressure on us. They haven’t done it before because it hasn’t been needed and it’s still not needed.
‘They’re doing it because we are in dispute and it is designed to intimidate us. It was not negotiated with the union and the union must not accept it. Now we need to move to indefinite strike action. We have to put pressure on the council to remove Serco now.’
Striker and Unite member Murali Muthu said: ‘We are doing our job as best we can and this mystery shopper monitoring of us is intimidation. They are doing this during our strike because we are striking. They have not done it before and we don’t accept it now.’
Striker and Unite member Michael Lester said: ‘If someone is following me around I’m not going to be able to do my job. I want to be comfortable at work, not scared of who is watching me. It is bang out of order, people, not just watching your work, but watching you in order to catch you and sack you.
‘We need all-out strike action now to deal with this. Serco out now!’
Unite Regional Officer Clare Keogh joined the picket line yesterday. She told News Line: ‘Three more 72-hour strike dates have been announced.
‘Serco have written this “mystery shopper” letter to all our members on the contract. It’s a deliberate act of intimidation in response to the strikes. The only other time they’ve done this was the last time they came on strike, but it is not going to work with these guys.
‘We are talking about escalation again because Serco are still saying they won’t negotiate a new policy. We are also still talking to the council and there are positive noises about bringing the contract back in-house.’