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Woolwich Ferry workers go on strike – South London News

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The Woolwich Ferry faces fresh chaos as staff are demanding a £10,000 pay rise.

Strikes have begun as frustrated employees call for changes from Transport for London (TfL).

The body took control of the Woolwich Ferry at the beginning of 2021, but staff have accused them of victimising employees and undermining workers with temporary agency staff.

They are also calling for a pay rise for the lowest paid ferry staff and have warned strikes could continue beyond the scheduled March finish date.

Unite the Union has organised strikes for every Monday, Wednesday and Friday until March 28.

On those days, no boats will transport vehicles or cyclists over the River Thames.

Unite’s national lead for local government Onay Kasab said he wanted to see far better pay particularly for the staff who help transport vehicles safely from the road onto the ferry.

He said: “Those men and women are working in London and their pay is £20,000.

“So they are doing that job, out in the cold, a full working week and earning £20,000 in basic pay.

“They deal with irate travellers who have been waiting too long and deal with lorry drivers who sometimes get impatient.

“Employers are willing to raise that to £23k or £24k, but they want them to work longer hours and more weekends to get it.

“We don’t accept that, but we’re willing to be reasonable and compromise.

If they’re willing to increase the offer – and this isn’t cloud cuckoo land for someone with a family in London – to more along the lines of £30,000.

“If you look at the work these people are doing as well, as a safety critical job, it is not an unreasonable claim on behalf of these people.

“It’s what our car park people have asked for, and they said if you give us that then we’re prepared to do your longer hours and weekends.”

A TfL spokesman said: “We are in ongoing discussions with Unite and hope to find a resolution as soon as possible.

“Our priority is that customers continue to receive a safe and reliable service.”

Pictured: Striking ferry workers and campaigners

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