Socialist Worker

Refuse workers strikes

Issue No. 2102

Blackburn with Darwen

Refuse workers in Blackburn with Darwen council are planning another one-day strike with a mass rally through Blackburn town centre on Friday of this week.

Hundreds of council workers in the Unite union were on strike on Friday of last week, and thousands of bins were left unemptied for the third time in two weeks.

Unison union members from the council joined the picket line during a lunchtime walkout.

Union members were planning to strike on Monday, but suspended their action.

The workers were given a 90-day deadline to accept a new contract, or face the sack.

Tony Hayes, regional officer for the Unite union, said, “We held a mass meeting a few days ago and people are still very angry. If the council don’t sit down and engage we are going to extend the strike action.”

Ros Shepherd from Unite added, “Between 300 and 400 workers will be striking and holding a rally on Friday.

“They will include some town hall workers, street cleansers, highways people and rubbish bin collectors.”

East Dunbartonshire

Refuse workers in east Dunbartonshire council struck for the second time from Friday of last week until Tuesday.

The workers in the GMB and Unison unions took action over single status pay cuts.

Jim Burnet from Unison said, “Many of the members who have signed the agreement did so under duress because frankly they were afraid for their jobs.

“The council can doctor the figures how they will – we took the democratic decision to prosecute this action because the majority of the members voted for it.”

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Tue 20 May 2008, 18:46 BST
Issue No. 2102
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