GMB invite Adur & Worthing Council chiefs to picket line

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GMB offer open invitation to both Adur & Worthing Chief Executive and officials from sister union Unison to attend the picket line in Lancing to address striking workers.

GMB, the union for all waste, street and recycling workers have today formally offered an invitation to the councils’ Chief Executive Catherine Howe and Director for Digital, Sustainability & Resources Paul Brewer, along with the councils recognised union officials in Unison to the picket line in Lancing.

In light of the latest delays and accusations towards GMB by other parties involved with resolving the on-going dispute over pay, GMB are giving these other parties the chance to address striking workers to put their case, concerns, and requests directly to a workforce unimpressed with the current deal on the table and with their refusal to meet formally with their union of choice.

The offer comes with a commitment that once they have addressed members, GMB would be prepared to hold a paper ballot to measure members’ views on the council’s/Unison’s offer and to pause or even end the strike should members choose to do so.

The offer comes about as formal meetings planned this week have been cancelled, leaving the GMB and its members with no access to negotiations.  Should those talks have been meaningful and progressive, this would have allowed progression of the GMB’s pay claim and a reason to suspend the current industrial action.

Mark Turner, GMB B50 Branch Secretary says: “We are running out of options to be honest.  They tell us they won’t meet with us formally, then they say they will if GMB agree to do so with Unison and seek recognition first.  We agreed and then almost immediately a change of heart and now once again they won’t. 

“It’s almost as if they weren’t expecting us to agree to meet and then when we did, there was a contrived excuse to cancel the meetings because our sister union have now said they won’t sit in the room with us.

“Now it appears that’s not strictly true as they are now saying very graciously they will do so but only informally, which means we can’t formally end what is now a legal dispute over pay talks.

“So the strike goes on and meanwhile during this game-playing the rubbish is accumulating in the streets of Adur and Worthing and the paid officers of the council are able to avoid their obligation to end the dispute.”

Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Organiser says: “It’s clear from the delays and misdirections that it’s not in the best interest of some around the table to negotiate a deal that is more beneficial to workers at the waste and recycling Lancing depot.

“We want to address the issues and seek solutions.  Our offer to management and Unison to talk to GMB members is made in good faith and in the hope that if other parties feel what they have to say is fair for staff and the service, they will be prepared to stand in front of strikers to give them that information and hopefully take questions which might lead to our members voting to accept the pay offer on the table and returning to work.”

“We’ve heard for weeks now how the Chief Exec and the council want this matter settled as soon as possible on behalf of residents so here’s the chance to do so.  It’s a simple choice: accept our offer and come down to try to do so yourself, or recognise that you need to do so formally with the GMB union around the table.

“Over to you, Catherine.”



Contact: Mark Turner on 07860787973 or Gary Palmer on 07552165950