Woolwich ferry photo BL2002/CC, photo BL2002/CC

Woolwich ferry photo BL2002/CC, photo BL2002/CC   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

A Unite the Union member

Unite the Union members employed by Briggs Marine – which has the contract to run the Woolwich Ferry on behalf of Transport for London (TfL) – have begun ten days of strike action.

The action, in support of a pay and conditions claim, is also in protest at reduced staffing and serious safety concerns linked to non-functioning fire extinguishers.

The first day of action on 17 May was magnificently well supported – with only one very sad looking scab going into work. This individual must now know how pointless this was – one man cannot run a two boat ferry.

The action by the strikers means that no ferry runs on strike days. Briggs has stated that it will only negotiate if money is not part of the negotiations. It claims it has no money. But the reality is that the company run the service for a profit.

The answer is simple – TfL must take the service in-house. Workers are demanding that a layer of senior managers are dismissed and, instead, workers are given the chance to run an in-house service.

Workers also made clear on the picket line that they are prepared to escalate until a victory is won.