Socialist Worker

Bins strike over low pay in Sheffield + disputes and campaigns round-up, 8 November 2021

Issue No. 2780

Supporters of Insulate Britain blocked Parliament Square last week as part of their campaign to win action to combat climate change

Supporters of Insulate Britain blocked Parliament Square last week as part of their campaign to win action to combat climate change (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Bins strike over low pay in Sheffield

Striking refuse workers marched to and protested at Sheffield town hall on Monday after rejecting their bosses’ latest pay offer.

The GMB union members who are outsourced to Veolia voted for strikes last month.

But action was called off for talks with the company.

After Veolia offered workers a below-inflation pay rise, which would mean a pay cut, workers voted again to strike.

On the picket lines and at the protest workers called for an “end to rubbish pay.”

“GMB members have gone above and beyond over the last 18 months to serve the people of Sheffield, whilst putting their own health and safety at risk” said GMB organiser Lee Parkinson.

“All they are asking for is some acknowledgement of the effort they put in.”

New action coming at the DVLA?

A new ballot for strikes by workers at a major government office in Swansea was set to end on Wednesday of this week.

PCS union members at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) are in a long running battle over coronavirus safety. Bosses want to force workers back into the office, despite many workers saying it is unsafe.

  • Driving examiners have voted to accept an agreement between PCS union leaders and bosses in a dispute over workload and safety.

Workers had voted to strike over bosses’ plans to add an extra test to the working day. After the vote, bosses agreed to suspend the plans for a year for talks with union leaders.

Workers backed the agreement by more than 90 percent on a turnout of 69 percent.


  • Unite union members working for Prysmian Cables in Wrexham last week began a series of eight  24-hour strikes throughout November and December over pay. The action involves 200 workers.

Workers employed by Nottingham Trams Limited struck last Saturday over pay.

Sue Dowling, from the GMB union said, “Working through the pandemic has been really hard.

“We don’t feel we had any recognition. We normally receive a Christmas bonus but this year that was taken away from us.”


  • After postponing strikes at the GKN factory in Birmingham, the Unite union has announced that the company is to close the plant

Some 500 workers at the car component factory will now lose their jobs and have “little option” but to accept a redundancy scheme.

The company “refused to consider” Unite’s plans to save the factory and push ahead with manufacturing electric cars. It was wrong to call off the strikes.


  • Strikes have been called off at the BMW Mini plant in Oxford after lorry drivers in the Unite union employed by Imperial Logistics accepted a deal.

Workers voted to strike after being paid £3 an hour less than agency workers on the same contract.

The improved pay offer is worth 27 percent over two years. Workers have also secured the continuation of unsocial hours’ payments and lump sum payment of £3,500 back pay.

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Article information

Mon 8 Nov 2021, 18:00 GMT
Issue No. 2780
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