Waste workers continue fight for better pay and other rights


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.

More like this