Pickets remain strong and in good spirits as the Eastbourne bins strike entered its third week and saw the fifth day of strikes.
Supporters, including a delegation from Eastbourne Labour Party, lobbied council buildings on Monday in support while talks were underway.
Twenty refuse truck drivers are striking and were joined on the picket line by supporters including the loaders who are presently balloting to join the strike.
The council has offered 7 percent for drivers—well below the £13.50 an hour the GMB union is asking for.
And it offered a mere 3 percent to loaders. This would not be enough to match the minimum wage when it is increased in April.
The Liberal Democrat council has been spreading misinformation about the strike and has described its offer as “generous”.
Solidarity with Eastbourne bin strikers. @GMBSussexBranch member Rob tells us “we’ve stopped all the lorries leaving the yard by standing there and talking to them”.
This is how a picket line should work.
— Socialist Worker (@socialistworker) January 14, 2022
But the strike has every prospect of winning especially if pickets continue to stop the refuse trucks from leaving the depot and loaders join the strike.
One striker, Peter, said, “We are the start of a wider revolt of the low paid, especially refuse workers. If we give encouragement to refuse workers across Sussex and as far as Liverpool to follow our example so much the better.”
Refuse workers, cleansers and parks workers went to Walthamstow town hall last week to tell the Labour-led council that they are ready to fight over pay, sick pay and the use of zero-hours contracts.
Unite and GMB union members are preparing for a fightback.
The workers are outsourced to Urbaser, a multi-billion pound corporation.
Unite’s Willie Howard said, “There is no reason for these workers to be cast aside and forgotten, without them, society cannot function.
“Let all parties concerned be put on notice—things need to change and they need to change fast.
“Workers are determined to follow other environment workers in London and across Britain in standing up for better.”
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