Socialist Worker

Sheffield bins strike goes all out to win

by Jay Williams
Issue No. 2428

Sheffield recycling workers on picket line

Sheffield recycling workers on picket line (Pic: Jay WIlliams)

Recycling workers in the GMB union in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, began an indefinite strike last Saturday.

Workers have previously struck for nine days. 

The walkout is part of an ongoing dispute over premium overtime and weekend pay, working conditions and allegations of management bullying.  

The workers are employed by the Green Company, a subcontractor for outsourcing giant Veolia. Veolia runs Sheffield City Council’s environmental services. 

Workers said those who handle waste such as battery acid or dog faeces aren’t given time or facilities to wash and change.

As one striker put it, “You come to work in your clothes and go home in your crap.” 

 In winter months pipes regularly freeze, forcing workers to fetch water from neighbours.

This is for drinks and to flush toilets—that they had to fight to have installed. 

And this is on top of a lack of shower and changing facilities. 

The union has also voiced fears about how the contract is being managed and board room wrangling.

GMB regional organiser Peter Davis said, “The leadership of the Green Company is out of control and you can see that by the fact they are disciplining disabled and vulnerable workers.”

The company is trying to keep the sites open during the strike, but lorries are being turned away. 

Peter said,  “I’m confident that the union fully supports the strike. 

“We will make sure that the strikers are not starved back to work. 

“I am confident that the entire trade union movement in South Yorkshire is behind us.”

Messages of support can be sent to [email protected] and to [email protected]
Visit Green Company strikers’ pickets at depots: Beighton Road, Woodhouse, S13 7PS. Blackstock Road, Gleadless, S14 1FY. Manchester Road, Deepcar, S36 2DT. Greaves Lane, High Green, S35 4GR. Longley Avenue West, Shirecliffe, S5 8WA

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