Barnet Council enforces ‘lock out’ as workers strike

Council workers were turned away from their offices this morning as Barnet Council enforced a “lock out”.

Hundreds of the council’s workforce planned to go on strike at 1pm today (Tuesday) after half a day’s work. But staff from parking and environmental health services were turned away from their offices in North London Business Park when they arrived for work this morning.

UNISON’s branch secretary John Burgess said it was an “extreme” measure and a “throwback to the 70s”.

The council warned workers: “When you arrive to work tomorrow (Tuesday) or any other day, you will be expected, until further notice, to immediately sign an attendance register declaring that you will carry out all your contractual duties.

“If you refuse to sign the register then you will be deemed to be withdrawing your services and lose a whole day’s pay and be invited to leave the council’s premises.”

UNISON members and public service campaigners formed up outside council offices this morning to protest against the council’s actions.

Linda Perks, UNISON London regional secretary, said: “Barnet Council continues to push through reckless plans that gamble with the future of hundreds of staff and the vital services they provide.

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“The response from the council to the action has also been disgraceful, as they are now threatening to send workers home without pay if they do not work the full day.

More than 400 council staff are expected to march on Barnet’s town hall this evening.