Refuse workers begin nine days of strike action

Strike action begins today (June 5) in Sandwell as refuse workers rejected a further pay deal from Serco Sandwell.

GMB Union says the outsourced provider has refused to meet the rate of inflation so far in pay offers so has therefore announced nine days of strike action ending on June 16.

The industrial action covers those working on street cleansing, waste site, waste collections, administration and the transfer station. 

There will be no catch up collections for the impacted area as a result of the strike action.

Justine Jones, GMB Organiser, said: “Serco have failed to recognise and value the work of refuse workers across our Borough. 

“To impose a real terms pay cut in the midst of the worst cost of living crisis in a generation is a disgrace. 

“The workers are clear – Serco need to get back around the table with an offer that properly reflects their value before it’s too late”. 

Tony Marston, senior contract manager at Serco said: “It is always our intention to work collaboratively with our trade union partners in line with our recognition agreements and would urge the GMB to suspend any action while discussions are ongoing.

“If the strike does go ahead, we would like to reassure residents that we will do all that we can to minimise disruption to services.”

A Sandwell Council spokesperson said: “The services Serco provide are extremely important for our residents. As a council we will be working hard to ensure that any disruption is kept to an absolute minimum and we urge Serco to work with its employees and the trade unions to find a resolution to the dispute.

“We hope talks can continue and that a resolution can be found as soon as possible. We will ensure residents are kept up-to-date on the proposed strike schedule and on changes or delays to waste and recycling services via the council website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and our email updates service.”

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