Drivers to dodge ‘thousands of pounds’ in fines as parking wardens strike

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More than 60 wardens, all part of the GMB union, will take industrial action for the third time in two months in a row over pay. They work for private parking contractor NSL, which operates by giving fines to illegally parked vehicles across Wandsworth, southwest London.

And the GMB union claims drivers will be able to dodge fines over the two-day strike period and so the council should intervene.

Paul Grafton, GMB regional organiser, said any money “lost due to tickets not being issued falls at the feet of the council”. He said the contract “ultimately needs bringing back in-house to be council-run” but the immediate priority is to “discuss a sensible pay offer so we can put this dispute to bed”.

He added: “GMB would like to once again ask Wandsworth Council how they are planning to make up the budgetary shortfall this dispute is causing – will it be through a council tax hike or by cuts to local services?”

The union has asked for a pay rise of £5 per hour for the workers, My London reports.

NSL said the wardens were offered a seven per cent pay increase which was “above inflation at the time it was offered”. The contractor said it remains open to reaching a “realistic settlement” to the dispute. The council previously said that it has ensured the wardens are paid the London Living Wage and that a “number of offers” have been made which were rejected by the union.

The wardens first walked out for three days from June 20 to 22, and then another three days from June 27 to 29. They walked out for five days last week, between July 4 to 8, and are planning to strike next week on July 18 and 19. The workers are also set to strike for a full five days from July 25 to 29.

A spokesperson for NSL said: “Civil enforcement officers have been offered a seven per cent pay increase which was above inflation at the time it was offered. The GMB have refused to negotiate on their unrealistic demand for a 58 per cent pay increase. NSL remain open to discussing a realistic settlement to this dispute.”

Wandsworth Council, which the Tories earlier lost this year, has been contacted for comment.

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