Socialist Worker

Brighton bin workers set to follow Leeds

Issue No. 2176

Brighton’s refuse collectors are set to start a work-to-rule on Thursday – followed by a week-long strike.

The workers in the council’s “Cityclean” department voted by a massive 94 percent to strike on a 76 percent turnout.

The vote came after months of negotiations to stop the Tory-run council from cutting bin workers’ pay by up to £8,000 per year in the name of “equality” came to nothing.

Up to 800 workers face the pay cuts.

GMB members at the depot have been keeping people informed about the Leeds bin workers strike, which is now into its ninth week (see page 5).

The Brighton workers now look set to follow in Leeds’ footsteps. Their week-long strike will start next Monday.

Mark Turner, GMB branch secretary, said, “I’ve never seen such a solid group of workers and this shows that they, like GMB members in Leeds, will do whatever it takes to protect themselves from Conservative pay cuts.”

And they are planning to join post strikers and local Housing Trust strikers – also resisting a pay cut – on the platform of a rally on 17 November.

The rally looks like being the most exciting local union meeting in the city for years, where a united message will be sent that low-paid workers in this city will not pay for the crisis caused by bankers and politicians.

It will also be an opportunity for local trade union militants to network with each other and prepare for future battles after the election.

Charles Harrity, GMB organiser, said, “We will be establishing a strike fund for anyone who wishes to make a donation to the workers.”

Brighton and Hove council Unison member


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Tue 3 Nov 2009, 18:39 GMT
Issue No. 2176
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