|Boris Bike Strike To Hit Shepherd's Bush|
Potential impact on bike scheme in Westfield
Residents and shoppers in Westfield could face disruption using the Barclays Cycle Hire Scheme following the announcement of strike action on Monday. Serco workers on Barclays ‘Boris Bike’ Hire represented by the RMT union are going on a 48-hour strike between 9pm Sunday 11th and 9pm Tuesday 13 th August.
Bikes will no longer be redistributed, meaning stations could become full, preventing bicycles from being docked, or empty and thus stopping the bikes being used.
Hammersmith and Fulham currently have five cycle stations, grouped around Westfield Shopping Centre, and so shoppers and residents of White City and Shepherd’s Bush could face difficulty.
The RMT union cited as grievances central to the dispute the ‘imposition of a 2% pay increase for 2013 and shift change patterns,’ as well as, ‘continuous bullying and harassment of members’ and travel-allowance disagreements. RMT general secretary Bob Crow said:
"By voting 100% for strike action RMT members sent out the clearest message to Serco Barclays, the scheme operators, that they are serious about this fight for justice on pay and working conditions on the London cycle scheme. However, despite talks with the company we have not been able to make significant progress and so we now have no option but to announce strike dates this month.
“The scheme has attracted global publicity but now risks collapsing into chaos through a massive under-investment in staff, bikes and docking stations.”
Serco, which operates Barclays Cycle Hire, only recognises the union Community, and have already agreed a deal with their members, including a 2% pay increase refused by the RMT.
A spokesman told ChiswickW4 that, “The number of RMT members on the contract is quite low so we do not expect a significant impact of the strike action on the service. Despite this, we have put measures in place to ensure that we are able to continue to provide the service that Londoners expect.”
Andrew Hill, Contract Director at Serco for Barclays Cycle Hire said, “We are deeply disappointed the RMT have decided to take strike action at Barclays Cycle Hire. Together with our recognised trade union Community, we have already reached an agreement on the issues the RMT have raised around pay and working pattern changes. This was achieved through a comprehensive, thorough and fair consultation with staff that resulted in a pay rise of 2%, which is above the national average and included other improvements to their terms and conditions. This strike action is therefore wholly unnecessary.”
Transport for London has denied that the strike action will have any impact on plans to expand the Barclays Hire Scheme westward into Fulham, Wandsworth, Hammersmith and Battersea. The first stations are expected to be running towards the end of 2013, with all bikes ready by spring 2014. A total of 48 new sites have been agreed at locations including along Hammersmith Road, Woodstock Grove and Shepherd’s Bush Road. With a further 26 pending approval, there could be room for almost 2,300 bikes in the borough.A map of the proposed new sites is available at: http://www.lbhf.gov.uk/Images/boris-bike-map_tcm21-180061.pdf