By New Worker correspondent
Striking traffic wardens marched to Camden Town tube station over the weekend as part of a fortnight of industrial action for higher pay in the north London borough. The traffic wardens work for NSL, the company that runs Camden’s parking enforcement services. NSL pays its company directors over £250 per hour but is refusing to pay the traffic wardens the £11.15 per hour that their union, Unison, has been fighting for over the last few months. The wardens are currently on £10 per hour, which is 20p less than the ‘London Living Wage’.
Over 100 Unison parking wardens went on strike for two weeks in the run-up to Christmas following the rejection of an NSL deal that the union said was worse than their first offer. Camden Unison branch secretary Liz Wheatley said: “There will be a significant loss of revenue for Camden Council and NSL. It’s a busy time of year for parking wardens, with all the dashing around and Christmas shopping. The parking service last year made £26 million profit for Camden, and NSL made £2m profit. That’s all parking services.
“The top company director had a pay rise of over half-a-million pounds in the last two years. This is double what it would cost to increase the pay of every traffic warden to £11.15 an hour. They clearly have the money but aren’t prepared to end low pay.”
NSL was bought by Marston Holdings in January 2017. Marston works for courts and local authorities across the country collecting parking fines, council tax and rent arrears, and congestion charge contraventions.
The company claimed that: “NSL has made an improved pay offer which will ensure all of our employees are paid in excess of the London Living Wage for the next three years. We are disappointed by Unison’s decision to continue with industrial action, however we will take steps to ensure that a parking enforcement service is provided to the London Borough of Camden during this period.”