Refuse collectors in affluent areas of Surrey have announced they will go on strike for 20 days next month in a fresh row in the industry over pay.
The GMB said its members employed by Emme in Elmbridge and Surrey Heath will strike from August 1 to 19, with no kerbside litter collection during that period.
The affected area includes Camberley, Cobham, Esher, Framley, Walton-on-Thames and Weybridge – and the union warned more walkouts were planned.
GMB bosses said Surrey locals ‘can now look forward to what is likely to be the hottest and possibly stinkiest August for many years’. He added that workers who refuse to join the union are paid ‘at least £3 an hour less’.
The union cites the example of Reigate and Benstead council, where it claims waste collectors are directly employed in-house and are paid £3 more per hour, as well as better conditions including sick pay and pensions. Enjoy the rules.
The union told MailOnline that its officials are asking for £15 an hour for drivers – plus a driver retention bonus of £1.60 an hour – and £13 an hour for loaders.
But Amey claimed that the GMB was demanding a 28 per cent pay rise, and that Amey’s pay offer of 4.21 per cent was ‘in line with real wages and other comparable workers across the country and in other areas of Surrey. Accepting. ‘
It comes amid the biggest so-called ‘heat of discontent’, with the biggest rail strikes in 30 years and disruption of the courts due to barristers’ walkouts.
In October last year, rubbish piled up in Brighton during a strike by GMB members in the city.
Paul Grafton, GMB regional officer, said: ‘We have been pushing Amy steadily for pay since April because our members feel she is woefully underpaid and undervalued.
‘Our members are paid at least £3 an hour less, and do not have the same level of sick pay or pension benefits as those still working elsewhere under local authority control.
‘The waste industry has become a race to the bottom when it comes to terms and conditions of employment as they try to use other waste contractors as benchmarks to drive down wages, which have been around for some time. happening in the industry.
‘Residents in Surrey Heath and Elmbridge Borough Councils can now look forward to what is likely to be the hottest and now possibly the smelliest August for many years.
‘Anyone who lives locally who is not happy with rubbish being piled up in their streets and gardens should contact their local councilors to get their waste contractor Emme back to the negotiating table. Encourage lobbying for.’
Cobham is one of the parts of Surrey that will be affected by next month’s bin strike (file photo).
Surrey Heath councilor Colin Duggan, portfolio holder for environment and communities, said: ‘It is very disappointing that the GMB and Emme have not been able to reach an agreement on pay and that the GMB have gone down the path of strike action. What has been decided? .
When are the next UK rail strikes planned?
Rail union bosses have warned of a ‘summer of discontent’, with the next strikes planned as follows:
- This Wednesday (July 27): RMT workers at Network Rail and train operators; TSSA in Avanti West Coast
- This week (July 30): Areva Rail London, Chiltern Railways, Greater Anglia, Great Western, Hull Trains, LNER, South Eastern and West Midlands Trains drivers
- 18 and 20 August: RMT workers at Network Rail and train operators
‘Our priority is always to serve our community. We are working to make sure Amey has emergency plans in place. Contingency plans aim to minimize the impact on residents – but cannot be finalized until GMB discusses the extent of strike action.
‘We will work hard to protect the basic food and waste collection services that our residents depend on the most, and to do this we need to invest resources in recycling and other services such as bulk waste collection and street cleaning. Services may require temporary redirection.’
The GMB has organized a series of strikes this year among waste collection workers over pay in several parts of the country.
A spokesman for Joint Waste Solutions, which manages waste collection for the two councils, said: ‘We have been informed that Amy employees working on waste collection and street cleaning services in Elmbridge and Surrey Heath The strike action will take place from Monday 1st. August to Friday August 19.
‘The action was voted by GMB union members in a ballot regarding pay settlement negotiations which are taking place between Amey and the GMB.
‘We are trying to get more specific details of the action to be taken in that three-week period. It is currently unknown what form this action might take, nor the extent of its impact.
‘We are currently working with Amey on a number of contingency plans and if strike action goes ahead, we hope to minimize the impact on service to residents and cause Sorry for any inconvenience caused.’
An Amey spokesman said: ‘We are extremely disappointed that the GMB has decided to call a strike for waste collection workers in Elmbridge and Surrey Heath.
‘Currently the GMB is demanding a 28 per cent pay rise. Our salary offer is in line with the 4.21% Real Living Wage and is being accepted by comparable workers across the country and elsewhere in the Surrey region.
‘We are in really constructive discussions with another union about the same pay deal and continue to invite the GMB to the table to continue negotiating with them.
‘We continue to explore every avenue to avoid strike action, including negotiating a settlement with Acas.
‘If the union goes ahead with the proposed action, we have plans in place to minimize the impact on local communities wherever possible.’