Adur and Worthing bin workers, members of the GMB union, entered the second week of strikes on Monday in support of their pay claim.
The strike is solid, with some 50 pickets on the gate out of a membership of over 70 workers, and morale is high.
And attitudes are hardening, as the original duration of the strike, two weeks, has been increased by another two weeks after a scab vehicle hit a picket on the first day of the dispute. There have been no other attempts to get the refuse vehicles out since.
Now the pickets are trying to persuade the street sweepers to join them, obliging them to drive through a flag-bedecked “tunnel of love” before they go out on their rounds.
The ultimate objective of the strike is for all affected workers to be escalated up the grading system, to the next grade, and go onto the top incremental level of that grade.
The employers are saying that they won’t talk to the GMB because it is not the recognised union, and will only deal with the recognised union, Unison.
But increasingly, they are coming to realise that for the workers, the GMB is their union. It is the only union that the workers trust to secure a satisfactory outcome to the strike.
Northampton’s refuse collectors—employed by outsourcer Veolia—are angry after turning down a pay offer of just 2.5 percent, less than a third of the rate of inflation.
The council, ultimately responsible for bin collections, has increased Veolia’s funding by 5.5 percent. But the company is refusing to pass even that on to workers.
Outsourced refuse workers in Solihull are set for strikes on Monday after 84 percent of workers voted to walk out.
The members of the GMB union currently work for subcontractor Amey, which is now refusing to open negotiations.
Wealden faces a bin strike affecting 70,000 homes as GMB completes an industrial action ballot.
More than 40 GMB members working at Biffa’s East Sussex Joint Waste Partnership depots at the Hailsham and Uckfield regional sites have been voting on whether to walk out over pay.
A long-running bin strike across Wiltshire has ended after GMB members accepted a new deal.
Workers almost unanimously accepted the offer, which amounts to a 7 percent pay rise plus a bonus scheme to be offered to more staff and further uplifts for those on the lowest pay rates.
A round-up of workplace struggles
A round-up of transport workers’ struggles