Wealden refuse collectors vote for strike action

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Our members have made it clear with this ballot result: enough is enough, so sort out the Biffa Bullies or get them to empty the bins, says GMB

GMB Union members working for Wealden Council’s waste contractor Biffa Municipal Services have voted for strike action over the company’s failure to address ongoing bullying and harassment by local managers, together with failures over promised changes and consultation over long-standing kerbside collection rounds issues and imbalances within the contract.

The ballot result on a return of 75.44% was:

  • Are you prepared to take part in strike action? 90.70%
  • Are you prepared to take part in industrial action short of a strike? 97.67% 

Mark Turner, GMB B50 Branch Secretary said:

"This ballot result comes off the back of management failures to resolve issues raised just after last May's 6 week long pay dispute.

"It’s of Biffa’s own doing from backing incompetent and bullying managers to run a service through a series of intimidating processes, when discussion, consultation and simply listening to those who do the job on a day-to-day basis might see rounds completed, attendance improve and a happier workforce.

"But instead, they have sat back and allowed ill-informed local dictators to run riot how and when they want.

"But no longer and members have made it clear with this ballot result, enough is enough, so sort out the Biffa Bullies or get them to empty the bins."

Declan Macintyre, GMB Regional Organiser said:

"At our meeting with management a few weeks ago we informed the company of the ongoing issues, we are told change is coming which would be great if only we hadn’t already been told that last May and June last year and nothing changed then, in fact the bullying has got worse.

"We have completed the legal requirements and now the members will decide if steps over the last week are sufficient for them to believe that change is happening, that the bullies will be dealt with by the company and that their suggestions over round re-designs will be listened to and acted upon.

"If not, unfortunately we will issue strikes notices for a minimum of two weeks and mid-May will see once again Wealden residents facing significant disruptions to kerbside collections of waste and recycling services."