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Refuse workers hit back in Eastbourne and Coventry

These battles can be won
Issue 2786
20 strikers in hi-vis jackets with GMB flags

On strike in Eastbourne (Pic: Louweeze Walton on Facebook)

Refuse truck drivers in Eastbourne, East Sussex, are to strike for an extra six days after the council tried to use scabs to clear bins on a strike day.

The GMB union said it had “no other option” after the council delayed talks and used “strike breakers knowing it would inflame matters” on Friday of last week.

It was the first of three days of planned industrial action.

Declan MacIntyre, GMB regional Organiser, said, “GMB members have had enough, disgraceful staff facilities, low pay and bullying management.”

There are just two toilets for 100 workers and no access to washing and showering facilities

MacIntryre said the council’s attempt to “carry out the duties of lawfully striking HGV drivers” had “was withdrawn at the depot’s gate when challenged”.

Further strikes had been set for 7 and 10 January but the union has now added another six days, from 14-21 January inclusive.

And bin workers in Coventry were set to begin a 48-hour strike on Wednesday this week, and a further four days of strike from next Tuesday.

The Unite union members struck on 21 and 24 December in a pattern of working for a hour, striking for a hour throughout their shift.

The Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said, “You might expect a Labour council to be sympathetic to the low pay plight of its bin drivers.

“But instead it’s been total intransigence from the council, combined with social media tirades against their own workers.”

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