Woolwich Ferry workers force boss’s climbdown

Labour and trade union movement news

Woolwich Ferry workers force boss’s climbdown

Unite Press Release – Thursday 29 January 2015

A strike by Woolwich Ferry workers has been averted after Unite secured a better pay deal for the workforce and persuaded ferry operator Briggs Marine to abandon threats to tear up long-standing agreements.

The 26 Unite members – who include crew, electricians and road traffic teams – had voted by 100% to take strike action earlier this month over pay disparities, the use of agency staff and the operator’s mis-interpretation of its sick pay policy.

Briggs Marine has agreed to honour the existing sick pay policy and reduce the use of agency staff. The deal will see members receive a 2.2% pay increase on basic pay and other allowances.

A joint working party will also be set up to deal with the pay disparities that have arisen since the service was transferred to the private sector.

Onay Kasab, Unite regional officer, said: “This is a great result for our members and is a testament to their resolve in the face of an unjust attack on their livelihoods.

“They were not prepared to rollover and accept their employer’s attempts to tear up their rights and won significant concessions as a result”.

The Woolwich Ferry Free service carries more than 3,500 vehicles and 5,000 passengers a day across the Thames between Woolwich and Greenwich.