PRESS RELEASE: Harlow trades council

Friday 2nd August 2013

Harlow picket

For immediate release.

This morning (02 August) members of Harlow Trades Council picketed the Mead Park depot of Kier Harlow to show solidarity with our UCATT comrades in their dispute with Kier Services over imposition of delays to salary payment.

Today marks the first day of the official industrial action ballot which ends on 19 August. We we were in attendance to support UCATT members and urge a YES vote in the ballot, which will give union negotiators a stronger position from which to seek a negotiated settlement.

The dispute has been triggered by Kier Services just as the school holiday period is under way, with parents amongst the workforce now facing the prospect of running out of money mid-month and then having to wait 2 more weeks for their pay.

Some workers pay their council rent and council tax through their salaries, so a two week delay in payment by Kier Services could increase the arrears faced by Harlow council, not to mention an increased load on enquiry staff at the Civic Centre.

Kier Harlow employs people with learning difficulties on the ETF team and the effect of changing their routine is far greater than the rest of the workforce. We wonder if Kier Services undertook an Equalities Impact Assessment?

We are already concerned that a Labour controlled council has a near 20% stake in a firm associated with the blacklisting scandal, but more so at the public silence of the Labour Group on this pay issue. However, UCATT has the firm support of Councillor Waida Forman, a Unison branch secretary, who is pictured on the picket line with a fellow Unison steward.

Harlow Trades Council urges Harlow Council to put pressure on Kier Services to negotiate with UCATT and other unions to resolve this unnecessary dispute.


David Forman
Harlow Trades Union Council