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EDF workers take to the streets of Bexleyheath in pay dispute
Around 50 EDF workers armed with flags took to the streets of Bexleyheath in protest over a pay dispute.
Unite says workers were striking because of the employer’s continued failure to implement a 2012 pay agreement and because of a two per cent pay offer for 2013 that fails to take account of the true cost of living .
Workers held a picket line outside EDF in Broadway from 7am to 11am on Thursday (MAY 8) and Unite said the dispute caused delays in fixing and installing meters for customers.
The union also said revenue protection was affected – as the workers on strike include those dealing with business owners and private customers who are allegedly fiddling and stealing electricity.
Kasab Onay, Unite regional officer who was at the Bexleyheath protest, said: "Strike action is already causing disruption across the capital, the south east, south west and the east of England.
"More industrial action is on the cards unless the management of this highly profitable company engage in constructive talks.
"Workers are taking action because EDF is refusing to honour an agreement signed in 2012 and to make matters even worse the company is offering a pay deal for 2013 which does not even keep up with the rising costs of living.
"We urge EDF to return to the negotiating table, honour its agreements and reach a fair deal for workers who deserve to have their contribution to the success of the business recognised."
Another worker on strike, who has worked for the company for 34 years but couldn't be named, added: "This is the first time I have ever gone on strike and that's because the situation has got so bad.
"The pay between what workers get in the south east compared to London compared is not the same and the company said it would be sorted.
"We are sick of the lying."
A spokesman for EDF added: "We have offered employees working in our metering division a final pay offer of 2 per cent with an additional lump sum of £200.
"The negotiations relate to the 2013 pay deal, which once agreed would be backdated to last April.
"We believe our final offer is fair and competitive. This is part of our commitment to our customers to ensure our costs are controlled and affordable.
"An identical offer was accepted last year by the vast majority of a much larger group of employees in the same part of our business - including those working in our customer service centres.
"We have been in continuous talks with Unite and other unions for more than 12 months to agree the pay increase and we remain open as always to meeting employee representatives."
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