By Colette Wymer
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‘Let’s fight for more,’ says Sheffield striker as bosses make offer in bin dispute

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Issue 2527
Strikers in Sheffield last Saturday
Strikers in Sheffield last Saturday

Refuse workers employed by Veolia in Sheffield struck for half a day over pay on Tuesday.

This follows a walkout on Saturday of last week. Then, more than 50 workers and supporters joined a mass picket at the main refuse depot to stop strikebreakers taking out refuse lorries.

But scabs had been bussed in for 5am. Later pickets moved to the huge waste incinerator and successfully turned back a lorry.

The nearly 90 GMB union members planned a further half-day strike on Thursday, and a work to rule on Wednesday and Friday.

Union members want a 2 percent pay rise. In response to this action, management has offered 1.7 percent for this year and 1.5 percent for next year. 

Workers held a mass meeting on Monday morning to discuss the offer.

One told Socialist Worker, “I think we should fight on to get more. They want us to sign up to a two-year deal when inflation and interest rates are going up.

“It will be like a pay cut.”

Workers are incensed at bosses cutting their bonuses without notice or explanation.

One worker told Socialist Worker he was earning £12.30 an hour for working on Good Friday in 1999—and now he gets £11.72.

Under the proposed new contract, workers will not be paid for the “turn around” time known as ‘Task and Finish. This can take half an hour to an hour.

They are also irritated at management removing their drinks machine while management still get free drinks during working hours.

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