Traffic wardens in Hackney to strike over pay and conditions after two workers attacked by dogs
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Dozens of traffic wardens in Hackney have voted to strike over pay and working conditions – after two workers had dogs set on them in the last three months.
The 36 Unite members, who are contracted by private firm APCOA, want their London Living Wage of £10.75 an hour increased to £15 an hour, as well as an improved sick pay deal.
The union argues the LLW is not enough to live on, and given the nature of the job its staff deserve better pay and security.
Unite regional manager Onay Kasab said attacks on workers, while nothing new, have become a "regular occurrence" and workers now double up to go to some problem areas.
"We've had serious assaults recently," he said. "Two members had dogs set on them in horrendous attacks."
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An incident report of an attack on November 12 states a warden was going to ticket a car in Bayston Road, Stoke Newington. As he did so, a man shouted from his window and came out and started attacking him.
The worker fell down and hurt his nose and elbow. He was then punched and kicked and had a dog set on him, biting his ears and neck.
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In the report, he said he raised his arm to try and shield himself and then suffered injuries to his lower back and shoulder. The man then ordered his dog to bite him again and it bit his leg, before the man punched his colleague in the face.
"From what members told us this kind of thing is a regular occurrence," said Onay. "Another one of the reasons they wanted to be balloted on this is because they are fed up and say their employer is not doing enough."
On pay, Onay added: "We don't think £10.75 is enough to live on in London. We want them to have parity with local government workers.
"They outsource the parking and companies come in and say: 'How much does it cost you? We will run it for much less'. The way they do that is by paying staff less."
An APCOA spokesperson said: "Our colleagues- like any other worker in the UK - are entitled to feel safe in their role and any act of uninitiated violence is never justified.
"APCOA has fully supported the authorities investigating the attack against two of our Civil Enforcement Officers and we strongly condemn such behaviour against any of our colleagues."