Socialist Worker

Trowbridge parks, gardens and street cleaning strike

Issue No. 2113

Street cleaners and grounds staff in Trowbridge, Wiltshire, staged a one-day strike on Friday of last week at council contractor English Landscapes.

The company was awarded a five-year contract to maintain West Wiltshire District Council’s parks, gardens and street cleaning programme in December.

Workers in the the GMB union are angry at a 2.6 percent pay offer, with 82 percent of its members voting to take part in the strike.

A second part of the dispute aims to ensure parity in pay and terms for workers, regardless of whether their contracts were transferred from the council or are with English Landscapes.

Andy Prenderghast GMB regional organiser said staff on English Landscapes’ contracts were paid on variable rates, the lowest being £1.50 an hour less than permanent council staff who do the same job.

They are also denied additional holiday, sick pay and pensions.

He added, “The fact that people can be paid so differently for performing the same job is completely unacceptable.

“We are starting off with a one day strike, but moving onto a two day strike later in the summer.

“We think the disruption will be long term.

The longer it goes on for, you’ll see less litter being picked up and grounds maintenance not being done.”

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Article information

Tue 5 Aug 2008, 17:37 BST
Issue No. 2113
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