17 Days Remaining

Saturday 15th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

SCORES of bin collectors in Bromley are set to cause a suburban stink as they gear up for three days of strikes.

About 100 workers are rejecting a 1.5 per cent “pay rise” offered by Veolia, the transnational company awarded the contract by Bromley Council, it was revealed yesterday.

The “unhappy and demoralised” members of Unite the union voted 85 per cent in favour of industrial actions on August 24 and September 3 and 4 from midnight to midnight in support of a demand for a 4 per cent pay rise.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “Workers are angry as they have to cover heavier and heavier workloads following a number of rounds being cut.

“For years they have had below-inflation pay rises, but now that inflation has dropped, the employers are happy to use it as a benchmark, so it’s a catch-and-match-up claim.”

The Conservative-run local authority is committed to becoming a “commissioning council” and slashing its number of employees from 4,000 to 300 despite having £130 million in reserves, according to Unite.

Mr Kasab said: “Veolia has a final chance for talks — we urge them to take that opportunity.

“The alternative is for the strike to go-ahead with the prospect of uncollected dustbins causing a stink in the late summer sunshine.

“This dispute is another example of the council’s misguided privatisation programme which relies on Veolia cutting collection rounds for householders and real-terms pay cuts for our refuse-collection members.”

Other “cost-cutting” measures implemented by the council include privatising 14 libraries, outsourcing learning disabilities — for which job losses are expected — and replacing paid staff with unpaid volunteers.