Brighton bin strike: union votes for ballot against ‘unfair treatment’ Brighton News

BINMEN could go on strike this summer causing chaos in the city’s waste collection services.

The GMB union announced today that its members have voted in favor of a collective action vote in Brighton and Hove over “the unfair and discriminatory treatment of drivers by council management”.

If the strike continues, residents would see a late summer disruption of the city’s residential and commercial waste and recycling services.

The union, which represents the city’s garbage workers, says there have been constant driver cuts, job variations and shift changes.

He claims that there is a continuing adverse effect on the health and well-being of drivers within the city depot.

Of the city’s 53 drivers, all but one voted in favor of the strike and the union will now provide council with legally required advice regarding the industrial ballot process.

“The result of our members’ consultative ballot is clearly the result of this frustration and welfare concern,” the union said.

“The independent poll, which would be the last legally required step before angry drivers can take action, is the result of one-sided daily changes and the removal of long-time tour drivers without a process, at the whim of a leadership. in uniform.”

Mark Turner, GMB branch secretary, added: “GMB members throughout the pandemic have tried to maintain the best possible service, despite severe Covid staff shortages and working with a dilapidated and archaic fleet of unsuitable vehicles leaving their mark on the staff who have tried to cope with the fallout and continue to deliver day in and day out.

“Vehicle breakdowns and fires are commonplace despite the best efforts of the maintenance team. At the depot, a large amount of the fleet is so old and worn out that it simply becomes impossible to keep them on the road for some time. turn as staff return from Covid-related issues and annual leave causes frustration for staff trying to tame an already difficult workload.

“Tours became disjointed during the pandemic and were so late that experienced loading crews able to turn the tide are seeing their drivers removed and replaced by operators unfamiliar with particular routes and all at the discretion of management without following. deadline. process put in place by the board in the first place, to manage the very service that they disrupt afterwards. ”

Gary Palmer, GMB regional organizer, added: “The next steps are to contact board chief executive Geoff Raw and provide all the necessary information and notifications required by law over the coming week, but one end of the day. The summer of discontent could be on the cards if members vote in favor of the strike and talks fail.

“I hope the deja vu that I’m sure the city and ourselves are feeling also includes a solution that avoids the need to go on strike, but my concern is that the outdated fleet issues are compensated for with methods of obsolete unilateral management approach that our members will quite simply and rightly no longer represent.

“The health and well-being of our members is our primary concern at this point, and the council must come together or we will enter into a dispute that this town could do without now if it fails to deal with the members. of the GMB. and their employees with a little more dignity, respect and appreciation for all they do, day in and day out, under difficult conditions. ”

A council spokesperson said: “We would like to thank our very hardworking Cityclean staff for working tirelessly throughout the pandemic to ensure our streets and our city remain as clean and tidy as possible.

“With many of our drivers and crews having caught Covid-19 or having been forced to self-isolate, the staff situation has changed almost daily. We have not been able to fill the staff shortage with such normal agency staff as they also experience the struggles of Covid and self-isolation.

“So our managers had to ask all Cityclean staff to work flexibly to ensure that our residents and clients receive the best possible service.

“It required changing team members when needed, moving them quickly through different collection cycles, asking teams to collect work that was not collected by other teams and ‘generally adapt to the changing and very difficult situation.

The spokesperson added, “We fully understand the impact that Covid and the lockdown have and still have on our staff, and Cityclean officials have been as staff-friendly as possible while also addressing their own Covid issues.

“We are having difficulties with some of our trucks, but this is mainly due to the difficulty in obtaining the necessary parts due to Brexit. However, we are making huge investments in our fleet which will see these issues resolved in the near future, including a new fully electric garbage vehicle in mid-September.

“We are fully committed to working with the GMB as we have done throughout the lockdown, so it is unfortunate that the GMB is voting its members on possible industrial action at this time.”

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This notice was published: 2021-08-19 14:55:52

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