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Woolwich Ferry workers return to picket lines after peace talks collapse

WOOLWICH Ferry workers have returned to picket lines after the collapse of talks with Unite aimed at ending a long-running dispute, leading the union to accuse Transport for London (TfL) bosses of “bad faith.”

The union suspended strike action as a goodwill gesture ahead of Tuesday’s negotiations, but members walked out again on Wednesday and are scheduled to strike again, for the 26th time, tomorrow.

The dispute was sparked by the alleged victimisation of two shop stewards and a failure to reach a pay agreement, excessive use of agency staff and inadequate health and safety training.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We were making good progress, with the union agreeing to a proposal from TfL to meet through workshops to discuss a new collective agreement.

“However, the employers made their pay offer, which was worse than the last offer, and they then refused to budge.

“For our part, we are still ready to talk – but, equally, we are resolute and determined to win fairness, dignity and respect.

“Strikes into the autumn are very much on the cards.”

A TfL spokesperson said: “We have reached out numerous times to Unite about their concerns, and urge them to call off their proposed strike action and instead work with us to resolve this issue.”

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