In a long-running and bitter dispute over pay in Coventry, the Unite trade union has just discovered that the local authority has agreed a 12% pay increase for the workers in the private company that is being used to try to break the strike. Meanwhile, Unite members at Rugby Borough Council began strike action on 26 April to get the local authority back to the negotiating table. In Croydon, South London, Unite members employed by Veolia are being balloted for industrial action following the rejection of a 2.5% pay offer. Members of Unite and the GMB, in Manchester called off their action when the private contractor, Biffa, agreed a pay deal worth 11% to the lowest paid and 22% to qualified drivers. Similarly, in Northampton a strike threat by GMB members against Veolia led to a settlement with a new minimum pay rate of £10 (€11.75) an hour. GMB members in Wealden in South East England agreed to suspend their strike over pay to allow negotiations with Biffa and their colleagues in North Somerset were also waiting for the employer to come up with a better offer to avoid new strike action. Unite members in local authorities in Northern Ireland, including waste workers, are also on strike over pay while their colleagues in Cardiff began strike action on 22 April in protest at toxic environment of bullying in the council’s waste department.
Waste workers continue fight for better pay and other rights
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Strike action by waste workers employed by Eastbourne council in South East England has helped secure a new pay deal which includes a minimum rise this year of 11% and a guarantee that the hourly rate will reach a minimum of £13.50 (€16.20) per hour in April 2023 – a 19% rise in total. Strike action could be on the cards in nearby Adur and Worthing, where a consultative ballot revealed more than 90% in favour of action over pay. In Carmarthen in Wales action by lorry drivers has brough the local authority back to the negotiating table while waste workers in Coventry in Central England are
Members of the STAL municipal services union took strike action on 1 August in protest at the failure of the Braval waste company to increase pay in the face of soaring inflation. The publicly-owned company provides waste services across a range of municipalities in northern Portugal. The union says that there has been no pay increase for two years and it is calling for a minimum increase of €90 for all workers. It also wants the company to abide by the collective agreement particularly in relation to career progression and wage development.
After two days of rallies and protests by waste workers, Tbilisi city council agreed to increase the salaries of employees of the Tbilservice waste management company from January 2022 and to solve a range of other issues by the end of August. The trade union of services, banks and utilities negotiated a number of measures relating to the inviolability of the protesters; cancellation of planned changes to work schedules; granting of employee insurance from 1 January 2022; additional paid leave to 24 working days; update of special clothes provision; and upgrading of vehicles.