Socialist Worker

Bin Workers

by Pat Smith
Issue No. 1867

THREE WEEKS into a work to rule, the Edinburgh Cleansing Department dispute remains unresolved.

In 1991 refuse collectors entered a five-year agreement to 'sell' six of their 10 public holiday entitlement for just over £1,000 each. The agreement ran out in 1997.

The council refused to reinstate the holidays and no agreement has been reached since then.

Three weeks ago, following two mass meetings the city's bin crews announced a work to rule, refusing to empty overflowing wheelie bins.

The action is becoming evident in parts of the city with gardens and kerb sides beginning to pile up with rubbish.

Last week Edinburgh city council offered a one-day holiday in September as a basis of negotiation and in a bid to prevent strike action. The offer was refused.

Workers at the depot are extremely angry and believe the council are merely attempting to break the work to rule.

If no agreement can be reached strike action is still a possibility. One of the bin crew said this week, 'The mood in the depots remains militant.'

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Sat 6 Sep 2003, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1867
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