Socialist Worker

A victory on Kirklees bins

by Nick Ruff, Kirklees Unison branch chair (pc)
Issue No. 2605

Council offices in Huddersfield, Kirklees

Council offices in Huddersfield, Kirklees (Pic: geograph.co.uk)


Unison union members working for Kirklees council’s refuse collection service appear to have won a significant victory in their long battle against alleged management bullying and racism.

Management met with union representatives after a big strike vote.

The bin workers voted for an initial five days of strikes starting on 4 June.

The council previously responded to workers’ grievances by threatening privatisation. Bosses were clearly terrified of the planned strikes and conceded to the six demands. Three managers have been removed from the service while awaiting the outcome of an investigation.

Workers will also be paid for up to half of their outstanding leave which management had refused to let them take.

Managers have also accepted that current rounds are unworkable and will be reviewed. Workers voted to suspend their action subject to confirmation of the deal.

At a meeting workers expressed joy at their victory but were left wondering whether they should have asked for the “whole baker’s shop”.


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