Woodford Green Dial-a-Ride workers on strike to demand fairer pay increase
PUBLISHED: 12:10 04 February 2020
Hundreds of Dial-a-Ride workers went on the first of four planned strikes to demand higher wages.
Members of trade union Unite, consisting of around 300 workers employed by Dial-a-Ride and 300 Transport for London (TfL) revenue protection inspectors, road transport enforcement officers and compliance officers, went on a 24-hour strike on Friday (January 31) in Blackfriars Road, Southwark.
Dial-a-Ride workers from the Woodford Green depot in Roding Lane were among those on the picket line.
The union is planning three more strikes, each on the last Friday of the month through to April if TfL doesn't raise their wages above inflation.
Unite regional officer, Simon McCartney said: "The anger of TfL workers is turning into action. They are fighting back against paltry pay. Unless TfL bosses rethink their decision to impose a real terms pay cut the dispute could escalate further."
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A representative from TfL said plans were put in place to ensure disruption to Dial-a-Ride members was kept to a minimum during the strike and taxis and community transport partners were used to accomodate regular bookings on Friday.
James Mead, General Manager of Dial-a-Ride at TfL, said: "We believe our package to increase our staff's pay is both fair and responsible and also offers an increase to 30 holidays over the next two years.
"We remain open for further talks with Unite and urge them to work with us to resolve the dispute rather than disrupt Londoners."
The average pay for a Dial-a-Ride driver in 2018/2019 was £37,000, £28,000 for reservationists in their contact centre, and scheduler/dispatchers made as much as £44,000.
Mr McCartney said if TfL doesn't come back to the negotiating table then additional workers could go on strike, upwards of 1,000 people in total.
He said: "What is clear is that TfL have botched these pay talks and they are trying to cover their tracks by refusing to negotiate, hoping the issue will go away.
"Fighting for decent pay, a strong voice and job security is central to Unite's strategy to win in the workplace. Unite is fully behind TfL workers' campaign for an above inflation pay increase."