Dozens of factory workers in Derby have been slapped with tickets, after the local council clamped down on parking on a road in the city.
Workers finishing their shifts at the Alstom plant in Osmaston Road on Monday the 23rd of April were shocked to discover that cars parked on one side of nearby Russell Street had been hit with warning tickets by the council.
The tickets advised workers that parking on one side of the road in future would incur fines. Russell Street is mostly marked with single yellow lines, which prohibit parking at certain times of the day. The street has a number of marked spaces, but these are not enough to handle the demand for parking from workers and other members of the public.
A worker at the factory told Derbyshire Live that: ‘You can’t park anywhere now. We don’t understand. No one drives down this road and the lights don’t even work at night. We have a car park but at night it is dead busy, it takes half an hour to get out.’
However, the Derby City councillor for Sinfin, Baggy Shanker, said: ‘We have been pushing for some action for a while. We have liaised with Alstom and they reassured us that there was adequate parking on site. Some staff choose not to park on site because it gives them a quicker getaway, but we had complaints from residents who were replacing wing mirrors and repairing damage to their cars, as when people are double-parked on Russell Street there just isn’t enough space for cars.’
The Derby parking incident is the latest in a long line of at a time of rising costs and flat-lining wages. At the end of last year, Sunderland-based outfit Faltec Europe Ltd told staff that they would offer free hot meals to those who required them. Employees were dismayed to discover that the hot meals comprised of Pot Noodles and pasta pots. One worker told the Chronicle Live that ‘At a time when staff morale is already at an all time low, and mental health issues are rife, the staff are upset by this suggestion that the management wish to help them through the cost of living crisis.’
Meanwhile, data published in S&P Global and the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply’s (CIPS) PMI employment index is unlikely to soothe factory workers’ worries, with the report revealing that the UK manufacturing sector is discarding workers as rocketing costs and low consumer spending depresses demand.
The Workers Union Says…
Factory workers have it tough at the moment. Uncertainty dogs the sector and many people are casting around for ways of relieving stress and financial pain.
Company chiefs need to invest in ways of helping people avoid reaching crisis point. There are plenty of options available to imaginative execs. Reaching a deal with local car parks for discounted parking for example, or improving on site parking will release a pressure valve and reduce charges of tokenism. Providing cost-of-living assistance that displays a genuine understanding of the challenges faced by many staff is another.
Not every company can afford a pay rise, and real hot food, vouchers and employee assistance programmes will not completely help workers battle inflation; but they are at least a step on the road to better staff relations and a more settled workforce.