While the commencement of planned strikes by Transport for London workers yesterday evening caused travel chaos for thousands of rail commuters, drivers in Portsmouth had cause to celebrate, as another set of strikes sees the city’s streets light of a few traffic wardens.
That’s right, today sees 24 hours of industrial action from traffic wardens, in protest over increased ticketing targets. It follows a two-hour walkout last week.
Assembling the strike action, Unite union convenor, Richard White, said: "It is regrettable that we have to take this step, but the attitude of council management has left us with no alternative.
"So far, our members have taken action short of strike and strike actions lasting only an hour – yet on both occasions Portsmouth City Council has docked members a full day's pay."
It is regrettable that we have to take this step, but the attitude of council management has left us with no alternative. – Richard White, Unite
Aside from an alleged 40 per cent increase in targets, traffic wardens’ grievances include unfair job evaluations, poor changing facilities, an overbearing management system and overall low pay.
Drivers in Portsmouth are warned that not all of the city’s wardens will be striking, so there is still the risk of a ticket to those who choose to park improperly.
Speaking to the Portsmouth News, Unite regional officer Ian Woodland, added: “The council needs to get around the table urgently to reach a settlement of this dispute which is becoming an embarrassment for the city council.”
In response to the strike, Simon Moon, Portsmouth City Council's head of transport and environment said: “We have had two discussions with Unite and felt there was agreed progress on three of their four issues, and we will continue to discuss their concerns over pay. We are committed in listening to concerns to help resolve this dispute."