After a 4 month battle against bosses over their sacking for wildcat action, 28 traffic wardens in Belfast have won their fight.
Traffic wardens this week expressed joy at finally winning their demands in their struggle against their employer NCP. The workers were engaged in almost daily protest since April after 28 were sacked for taking part in wildcat industrial action over working conditions and sick-pay. On Friday 31 July, after a four-month battle, they were informed that they would all have the option of reinstatement or a substantial redundancy package.
The wardens had taken the wildcat action at the start of April over pay and conditions, including their rotas and sick-pay. The wardens were initially suspended by bosses, but on 20th April were sacked. Those involved made up one-third of Belfast's traffic wardens.
NCP are contracted to enforce parking restriction across Northern Ireland, and at the time said they "have a very good relationship with Trades Unions in Northern Ireland and will continue to work with unions representing their members - but we cannot support illegal action of this kind".
Since their sacking in late April, the traffic attendants had been protesting everyday, initially at the NCP offices in May Street, and then at Calendar Street when the offices moved. The sacked workers received support from their fellow traffic wardens, members of Organise and various other political groups in Belfast. Northern Ireland Public Service Alliance (Nipsa) was giving the sacked workers strike-pay during the dispute.
The protests and pressure exerted on NCP by the workers, and their existing co-workers who indicated 100% support for an all-out strike, won the sacked workers their chief demand, namely to get their jobs back. All 28 sacked workers have been offered reinstatement or a financial settlement, and while many have not decided which they will take, they are delighted with what they have acheived.
The Leveller (issue 2) has an expanded version of this story including an interview with one of the NCP workers.