GMB ballot refuse, recycling, HGV drivers and loaders working at Adur & Worthing Councils recycling and waste services

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In addition, GMB announce further dates for dispute with Eastbourne council, which will see collection services for over 50,000 households cease from Jan 14th through to the 28th.

The GMB consultative ballot which opened on Friday Jan 7th2022, is the final step required by the GMB’s own internal processes before undertaking an industrial action ballot for strike action. 


The ballot which has come about after disillusioned and angry HGV drivers and loaders contacted the GMB seeking support in taking their pay claim and grievances against the council forward.  


The issues which include Pay Levels, Terms and Conditions being below not only current market rates but are in comparison less than their council workforce colleagues just a few miles down the road in Brighton carrying out the same public service work.  


The ballot will close on the 19th of January and depending on a positive supporting vote for action the GMB will then provide Adur & Worthing council with the legally required information and notice needed to appoint independent scrutineers to carry out a formal industrial action ballot.  


Mark Turner GMB B50 Branch Secretary said:  


The GMB Union, has seen an increase in contact from angry and unappreciated refuse and recycling workers along the South Coast and throughout Sussex, Surrey, and Kent ever since our members success at Cityclean fighting for respect and fair pay asking if the GMB can represent them with pay claims to their employers. 


Adur and Worthing are the next of those contracts and working conditions to be scrutinised by the GMB union as requested by our members, as we did recently in Brighton and currently with regard to Eastbourne councils' failure to provide decent welfare facility’s and fair pay rates for what is a very difficult and dirty job on behalf of the City’s and Towns, they work in. 


There is a long list of issues which if Adur and Worthing council have any sense, they will seek to resolve directly with the GMB Union on behalf of our members at the earliest opportunity possible, and not choose like Eastbourne council to entrench themselves behind a belief that archaic welfare treatment of their environmental services staff and in work poverty pay scales are going to be acceptable any longer.   


Gary Palmer GMB Regional Organiser said: 


It’s unbelievable really as Refuse, Recycling and Street Services are probably the most visible service any authority can provide its residents and council taxpayers, yet it remains un-noticed and unappreciated and taken for granted by just about everyone because of the fantastic and professional job GMB members and other HGV and refuse and recycling operatives do. 


That is until suddenly they come home to find their bins un-emptied or look out to see streets strewn with rubbish, and unfortunately that’s what is about to happen next potentially in Adur & Worthing around March time and is about to intensify in Eastbourne over the next strike period from the 14th of January onwards. 


The days of environmental services being provide on the cheap, through competition, privatisation and outsourcing regardless of their being in the public or private sector are gone, for too long they have all relied on staff and our members bearing the brunt of cost savings through poor workplace welfare and low pay. 


New housing developments meaning there are more bins to empty, and just huge increases in the amount of household rubbish and recycling being created by the city’s population and needing collecting and disposing of means their workloads go up and up year on year out. 

GMB members are now simply demanding that their Pay, Terms and Conditions increase to reflect that. 


Strikes are always the last resort, but when an employer refuses to listen and take your issues seriously, our members have and will continue to take the fight on with the full support of the GMB union forward until they are taken seriously.



For more information contact  

Mark turner GMB B50 Branch Secretary 07860787973 


Gary Palmer GMB Regional Organiser 07552165950