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Coventry bin strike—use re-ballot to ramp up the pressure on Labour council

Unite union members could extend the Coventry bin strike if the Labour council doesn’t pay up
Issue 2795
Ten Coventry bin strikers with Unite union red flags and a large banner "Betrayed by a Labour council"

Coventry bin strikers taking their message to Coventry council (Pic: Unite West Midlands Politics on Twitter)

HGV drivers began a re-ballot this week to renew the mandate for further action in the Conventry bin strike.

The 70 drivers in the Unite union have been on all-out strike since 31 January in a battle over low pay. The workers’ basic rate of pay begins at just £22,183 a year. That is far below what workers receive in the private sector and well below pay rates of neighbouring councils.

The Labour council has refused real talks and instead set up a scabbing operation. As well as the issue of pay the drivers will also be balloted on the bullying and harassment they have suffered.

The re-ballot in the Coventry bin strike ends on Monday of next week. The current strikes are due to end on Thursday 24 March, but should the workers back more action, strikes will run through the spring. This will include the local elections in May, when 18 of Coventry’s councillors will be elected.

Unite has to increase the pressure. It could call mass protests at the scab deports, and more days of action by other council workers. And politically, Unite should make good on its threats to stop funding a party that is savaging its members.

Coventry bin worker’s strike fund: Unity Trust Bank a/c Unite WM/7116 Branch Coventry Local Government, Sort code: 60-83-01, a/c number: 20302665. Messages of support to [email protected]

Refuse workers in Northampton have voted to reject a pay offer of just 2.5 percent and will now vote on whether to strike. Over 70 members of the GMB union, who work for refuse giant Veolia in the city, face a massive cut to their pay as inflation continues to rise.

Workers are also angry that their council awarded Veolia a 5.5 percent increase in its funding.

Around 100 Solihull refuse workers have voted to strike over pay. The members of the GMB union work for outsourcer Amey. They are angry that the firm has refused to negotiate with their chosen union. Workers say that a strike could have been avoided if Amey had given them a decent pay offer.

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