Trade union holds protest outside AA building

Basingstoke Gazette: Members of the GMB union hold a protest in front of the AA building Members of the GMB union hold a protest in front of the AA building

MEMBERS of a trade union held a protest outside the AA’s headquarters in Basingstoke – calling for a substantial pay increase for staff.

GMB members held the rally outside the company’s offices in Basing View on March 5, calling for a substantial, real terms pay increase and a commitment to making no detrimental changes to contractual overtime for one year.

The union is also pressing for a commitment to renegotiating the “last job of shift policy”, which sees staff working beyond their contracted shifts unpaid.

The AA employs 3,000 dedicated roadside patrols, reaching an average of 10,000 breakdowns each day.

The Basingstoke-based company is part of the Acromas group which saw the AA and insurance company SAGA merged in 2008 by private equity companies Charterhouse, CVC Capital Partners and Permira.

Paul Grafton, GMB regional officer, said: “Since December 2007, inflation has risen. Over the same period, the pay of an AA patrol worker has not kept pace, so in real terms there has been a pay cut of 4.2 per cent over this period.

He added: “To add insult to injury, the AA has now taken the next steps to cut a further £6million from the wages and terms and conditions for the 3,000 patrols.”

Paul Green, director of communications at Acromas, told The Gazette: “The protest was a flop and it was just a bit of publicity, which is really driven by the GMB.

“Since SAGA and the AA started to work together, we have invested in extra staff and new vehicles. The AA is the nation’s favourite breakdown service, and the GMB are knocking the hard work being done at the AA.”

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