BULLYING bosses on the Woolwich Ferry risk causing travel chaos for thousands after provoking 12 days of strikes, workers announced yesterday.
A culture of bullying and harassment “including serious allegations of a sexual nature made” by one female worker returned an 88 per cent vote for action from workers on the service which has been crossing the Thames since the 14th century.
Union Unite balloted its three dozen members at Briggs Marine Contractors, which runs the service for Transport for London (TfL), over the failure to abide by agreements, health and safety concerns and the bullying culture.
Crew members, traffic teams, engineers and office staff will stage 24-hour strikes every Friday from January 27 to April 14. The union estimates that 42,000 car journeys will be affected as well as “countless” foot passengers.
Unite regional office Onay Kasab said: “There is a very unpleasant culture of bullying and harassment at this company.
“The large majority for 12 days of strike action underpins our members’ anger at the company culture.”
He said the “ball is very much in the court of the employer” if bosses want to avoid passengers being forced onto “alternative routes on London’s already strained and creaking transport system.
“The bosses need to address these serious allegations urgently, if strike action is to be averted.”
He urged management to negotiate, saying: “Unite’s door is open 24/7.”
TfL spokesman Guy Pitt urged Briggs Marine and the union to “resolve this dispute as quickly as possible to avoid any disruption for Londoners.”
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