Fight for better pay for waste workers continue


Following strike action, the Unite trade union has secured a 10.1% pay increase for waste workers employed by the Suez multinational in South Gloucestershire. Strike action against Suez also delivered in Somerset, where the union won a 9% pay increase up from the original offer of 4.85%. However, disputes continue elsewhere, including with the Urbaser company in North Yorkshire where workers have rejected an 8% pay offer and days of strike action have been planned stretching through August and into September. Meanwhile, renewed strike action is likely in Coventry. Lengthy strike action by Unite in 2022 led to an agreement on pay but now the council is threatening cuts to the workers pay and conditions. The union says this is a move by the council to level down pay and conditions to avoid the costs of an equal pay claim that would potentially increase pay for other, mainly women, workers. The GMB trade union has also notched up successes, firstly in Winchester where the threat of strike action led to the Biffa company increasing pay with drivers now getting £15.50 (€18) an hour and loaders £12.00 (€14) an hour; and secondly in Ashford and Swale where workers are now on similar rates following the GMB’s negotiation of a 10% pay increase.

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