Unions continue to mobilise across the waste sector


Drivers, refuse workers and street cleaners continue to take action around the country to secure pay rises as inflation eats further into purchasing power. The Unite, GMB and Unison trade unions are all involved in a dispute with Serco the private contractor used by Sandwell council near Birmingham. Workers have voted for strike action on 28 and 29 July and then on 4, 5 and 8 August. They have rejected an 8% pay offer and argue that the company can afford a higher increase having seen profits soar by 25%. Refuse workers employed by Newham council in east London are being balloted for strike action while in Bexley in south London strike action against Countryside Recycling is continuing as workers try to defend their working time arrangements. Industrial action by employees of Veolia, the contractor providing services for Chesterfield council in the Midlands, was called off when the company increased its pay offer to 7.5%. Other workers employed by Veolia in Harlow in Essex also called off their strike action when the company agreed to a pay rise of 2.5% backdated to January 2021, an increase of 5.5% from January 2022, improved holiday entitlement and a new collective agreement.

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