(17 February 2011) The trade unions discussed the implications of climate change on public services and in particular on energy, water and waste. The [recommendations of a study->http://www.epsu.org/IMG/pdf/PP-dupressoir-confsept-final.pdf] were debated
(May 2016) The four main unions that organise in the public and private sector waste industry are planning to strike on 30 May. There are many elements to the unions' protest including the need to defend a sector agreement in the industry, to stop cuts in pay and jobs, to ensure public procurement is used to deliver quality services and to improve health and safety. Around 100000 workers are employed in the industry and the unions involved are FP-CGIL, Fit-Cisl, Uiltrasporti and Fiadel. Read more at FP-CGIL (IT)
(July 2016) Workers in the waste sector, will take two days of strike action on 11-12 July in their continuing campaign over pay and conditions and health and safety. The unions, FP-CGIL, Fit Cisl, UilTrasporti and Fiadel, have already organised industrial action on 30 May and 15 June calling for a new collective agreement. The previous agreement expired at the end of 2013. The unions also want action to improve health and safety for the 100000 workers employed in both public and private waste sectors. Read more at FP-CGIL (IT).
(August 2016) The STAL local government union organised four days of industrial action at the Valorlis solid waste treatment company that operates in the Leiria district of central Portugal. The workers were on an overtime ban on 13, 14 and 15 August, followed by 24 hours of strike action on 16th. The union argues that shareholders in the privatised company have been benefitting from company profits while workers have been denied pay increases as the company claims it has had to follow government austerity measures. Read more at STAL (PT).
The tragic death of 54-year-old Michele Lorusso, an employee of a private waste contractor near Bari in southern Italy, has prompted calls for urgent action on safety in the sector. The incident happened when Michele was on his own and attempting to fix a waste truck that had broken down. The FP-CGIL trade union says that this is just the latest in a long line of incidents with the sector registering a rise in accidents and occupational diseases in recent years. The union wants to see health and safety in the industry now given the highest priority.
The GMB general and public services union has raised concerns about safety in the waste sector. The union says that official figures show that deaths among refuse workers rose from eight to 12 last year while staff faced 1,000 instances of dangerous driving every single day. The GMB points out that workers are facing these serious threats to their safety while having seen their pay plummet in real terms since 2011.The average earnings of a refuse worker are just over £19,000 a year (EUR 21250), 7.4% lower in real terms than in 2011.
The ETUI research organisation has published a new report and issue of its health and safety magazine, HesaMag, that both cover the risks of workplace cancers. As many as 100000 deaths a year are linked to workplace carcinogens but it is not just hazardous substances that are of concern. The ETUI publications also cover other risks such as night work which has been linked to higher risk of breast cancer with some specific cases affecting hospital staff. HesaMag also looks at the problems of getting proper recognition of the risks faced by workers in sectors like cleaning, maintenance and waste
Waste workers in the UK and France are taking or planning industrial action over a wide range of issues. Public and private sector workers in France, organised by the CGT union, are taking action over major demands on pay, pensions and health and safety. Meanwhile, in Hull in North East England workers employed by the FCC multinational are protesting over sick pay and inThurrock in South East England the issue is one of surveillance. Workers there are objecting to live streaming to management from cameras in all refuse lorries.
The FP-CGIL public service union has raised serious concerns about the introduction of Amazon-style electronic bracelets for waste collection workers by a private company in Livorno. The bracelets communicate with waste containers to check they are empty. Union says that this degree of surveillance is excessive considering that there are already supervisors who monitor the work along with GPS systems in trucks. FP-CGIL says that employers should be concentrating more on dealing with the serious health and safety issues in the sector.