Socialist Worker

Bexley bin workers battle Serco + Tower Hamlets + DVLA + Yodel

Issue No. 2763

Picketing on Monday

Picketing on Monday (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Around 140 bin workers began two weeks of strikes on Monday in Bexley, south east London, on Monday.

Effective picketing blocked scab trucks from leaving

Strikers work for outsourcer Serco. The refuse and cleaning contract has recently been retendered by the Tory-led council. But the workers’ Unite union says that Serco is the only bidder.

The council plans to cut the cost of the contract by £2.5 million over five years.

Workers are also angry at the company’s 2021 pay offer of 1.5 percent.

Bexley refuse workers earn much less than their counterparts in other areas of London.

In neighbouring Greenwich, refuse staff earn a minimum of £13 an hour, compared to £10.25 paid by Serco in Bexley, .

Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon said, “Serco has backed our members into a corner with their pathetic pay offer and refusal to pay owed back wages.”

Join the pickets, 5am-10am picket line each weekday until 25 July at Thames Road Refuse Depot, Crayford, DA1 5QJ

Tower Hamlets threat to  service

Five workers in the initial assessment unit for elderly residents in Tower Hamlets, east London, began a five-day strike on Monday.

The workers, in the Unite union, provide important services for people in need of assistance.

The workers are protesting at being terminated as council employees and a forcible transfer to Age UK East London.

Unite said the move will reduce service quality for residents and needs to be stopped.


Fresh forces in DVLA strike

Another set of workers in the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) walked out this week as part of an ongoing programme of industrial action over workplace safety.

Workers in the casework and enforcement group at DVLA offices in Swansea struck on Monday and were set to strike again on Thursday and Friday.

Members of the PCS union are in a long-running dispute over bosses’ drive to force workers back into the office, despite more than 600 covid cases at the office since last year.

Workers in the Drivers Medical department, who renew driving licences, struck last week.

Their action has caused a major backlog. But bosses have so far refused to halt the return to work.

Donate to the strike fund. Name: Fighting Fund Levy. Account number: 20331490 Sort code: 60-83-01, Reference: DVLA. Messages of support and invite strikers to speak at your union branch via [email protected]

Yodel workers ready for action

Workers at delivery company Yodel say they are ready to strike over unworkable schedules and stolen annual leave.

GMB union members across Britain are asking their union to ballot them for strikes.

Last September 84 percent of the GMB’s 1,000 members rejected a 1.5 percent pay offer.

The union warned the company must offer more or face strikes.

Currently there is a severe shortage of lorry and van drivers due to the pandemic.

A strike by Yodel workers would hit the company hard.


‘Obscene’ victimisation on Woolwich ferry

Workers on the Woolwich Ferry connecting east and south east London are striking in defence of two union reps victimised by the bosses.

Dozens of workers in the Unite union are striking and picketing picket lines for nine days this month, completely shutting down the ferry’s operation.

It follows eight days of strikes in June, after managers victimised the first rep.

Unite says victimisation has reached “obscene levels.”

Strikers were set to return to picket lines on Friday of this week and Monday of next week.


Cleaning and presentation staff working for Scotrail were set to join a long-running fight for pay justice and equality from Tuesday of this week.

They will join the battle by conductors and ticket examiners in the RMT union, who have been staging weekly Sunday strikes.


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