Socialist Worker

Refuse workers in Hull are out to give the bosses hell

Issue No. 2598

Waste management drivers in Hull are on strike for two weeks to demand sick pay for all workers

Waste management drivers in Hull are on strike for two weeks to demand sick pay for all workers (Pic: Tony Smith/Facebook)

Drivers at an FCC waste management depot in Wilmington, Hull, are striking for two weeks to demand sick pay for all workers.

The action follows a previous seven-day strike. Workers in the Unison union rejected a 2 percent pay rise on the basis that it wasn’t being paid to everyone.

The action has grown with workers from Driffield who also work for FCC, showing their support on the picket.

FCC managers have threatened agency staff with the sack.

And they have suspended two workers who were on strike previously—including the Health and Safety rep—on trumped up charges.

Despite this the mood among pickets has hardened.

Senior shop steward Russell Bowering said, “They’re always saying to us that FCC are a company that like to do the right thing. It’s time they realise that what they’re doing is wrong and they need to pay everyone sick pay.”

Waste collection workers in Essex are set to start a wave of strikes against “rubbish management” on 12 April.

The 65 Unite union members plan to walk out every Thursday and Friday for the next three weeks.

They are then set to strike for 72 hours from 1 May and a further three 24 hour strikes in May.

Migrant workers win with a wildcat strike

Workers at the Orion recycling plant in east London struck last week without going through all the usual balloting requirements last week—and won their demands within hours.

The ten migrant workers in the United Voices of the World Union, all from Peru, fought for proper safety and hygiene equipment. They won a personal pledge from the company owner to provide proper face masks, air filters, gloves and four pairs of protective overalls each.

There was also a pledge to provide soap and toilet paper, and showers on site within a month. The boss also pledged to meet with the union to discuss a pay increase to meet the London Living Wage, plus occupational sick pay.

The strikers also received a personal apology from the site manager for abusing the workers. And they won the promise that they would still be paid and not be victimised for the day of this unprecedented wildcat strike.

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