Harlow refuse workers vote to strike

News / Wed 22nd Jun 2022 pm30 02:30pm

HARLOW refuse workers have delivered a resounding Yes vote to strike action against a pay offer that fails to keep track with the cost of living, says UNISON today (Wednesday).

Workers have voted 97% in favour of strikes in the hope of securing a better offer. They received nothing last year with Employer Veolia offering 7% for 2021 and 2022. Inflation today (Wednesday) hit 9.1%, wiping out the value of that rise.

The company had been refusing to even talk about pay at the Mead Park depot but have now agreed to meet, says UNISON. 

The union is urging Veolia to come to the negotiating table with a new offer and avoid disruption to the public before it announces strike dates.

UNISON Eastern regional manager Caroline Hennessy said: “Harlow’s refuse workers have made their feelings known. They won’t accept another year of tightening their belts and struggling to make ends meet.

“No-one at the depot wants to strike and stop providing their vital service to the public. But they’ve just got no other options.

“Veolia has refused to even talk to staff about a meaningful pay rise. The ball is entirely in the company’s court. If Veolia bosses want to avoid missed collections and rubbish piling up in the summer hear, they can make an offer that doesn’t leave bin workers worse off.”

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27 Comments for Harlow refuse workers vote to strike:

Scott Kin
2022-06-22 14:59:22

7% is massive, greedy bin men.

Mark Woodridge
2022-06-22 15:22:12

Don't think they will get public support with this one. Many public services would give their right arm for 7%

2022-06-22 15:25:41

Scott kin - 7% is massive lol give your head a wobble. These workers are not on 80k a year like MPs. 7% of their wages is close to £150 a month extra. Inflation has risen 11% so its still way off being a payrise. Up the works!!!

Richard Adams
2022-06-22 15:28:09

Most public service contracts have an inflation clause in them which is linked to an inflation index. Why shouldn’t the bin operatives get the same as that index? I don’t suppose the council will publish what inflation they have to pay on the contract but I bet it is more than 7% this year and any pay offer below the contract inflation rate will be profit for viola. Let’s not forget the bin men worked all through lockdown with no rise last year and it’s a really hard job. Come on Viola sit down and negotiate a rise they deserve.

Daniel Long
2022-06-22 15:30:02

What a load of rubbish.

Richard Mace
2022-06-22 15:41:35

The whole world is suffering, I hope they get their pay rise followed by the redundancies when the company has to make cut backs because it cannot afford the employees anymore. Or the council will get charged more and then guess what Tax goes up. Take your 7% and stop moaning !!!!!

Rob Whittaker
2022-06-22 15:44:41

Richard Adams........ I know for fact they all got bonus for working through COVID. cost company loads of money. They should be grateful they still have jobs unlike us in the hospitality industry.

2022-06-22 15:48:17

If you are unhappy in your job, leave.

Steve Edwards
2022-06-22 15:58:10

Inflation is running at 9.1%, anything less than that is a pay CUT!!!! The people calling them greedy might like to try doing their jobs for a day. Our key workers were heroes during Covid and now being slagged off. Full support to them.

2022-06-22 16:04:26

Cost of living is up 9% Pay rise is 7% They are not on minumum wage. Cost of living up 9% of what And what is the 7% on I'm sure they are not too hard done by.

gary roberts
2022-06-22 16:37:03

If I read the article properly the 7% was over two years so it is 3 and a half percentage a year and with inflation 9.1% today I can understand the issue of pay. I suspect conditions of employment was also raised in the calculation to strike. As a former shop steward I can understand their concerns about paying their increasing energy, food and housing bills.

2022-06-22 16:41:23

Good on them inflation is >10% due to government printing billions in the pandemic. All political parties caused this and if you supported and demanded lockdowns and restrictions you also enabled it so enjoy what you wanted. The cost of living crisis is a result of this insanity Summer and winter this year are going to be interesting and it has not even got started yet

2022-06-22 18:00:00

The more these companies pay….. the more everything else will rise.

2022-06-22 18:11:52

7% !! Should be greatful not greedy. So many of us get 0%.

Against the Unions
2022-06-22 18:19:04

Let's look back over the last 5 or 6 years at how many pay rises they got over the inflation rate for that year. Could be setting a dangerous precedent for future rises.

Ellie mcgraph
2022-06-22 18:22:35

The company has had a 75% jump in fuel price. As well as materials to run the business. They still give a 7% payrise. Where do these moaning employees think money comes from. Don't like it get a new job!

2022-06-22 18:36:11

So Adam you would've rather had thousands more die in the pandemic than have the lockdowns that we did have, once the government agree to one having 7%+ rise every one will want the same including the unemployed.

2022-06-22 18:42:37

Furlough has quickly been forgotten about I see, millions of workers sat on their backsides for months earning free money, I worked right thru the pandemic with no government help on min wage as a fast food delivery driver.

2022-06-22 18:53:02

FRESH FROM VEOLIA NOTICE BOARD FROM THE MEETING THE UNION HAD WITH THEM HERE IS THE OFICIAL MINUTES - - - - - I KNEW SOMEONE HAD A PICTURE............ Veolia had informed Unison that there was no collective bargaining on 3 separate occasions, (once in 2020 and twice in 2022), but was unaware if this had been acted upon by the Union. ● Veolia confirmed that a 7% pay rise will be paid to the workforce, backdated. The increase will be paid in June’s pay. ● Veolia confirmed that if requested by Unison to be able to enter into a collective agreement, Veolia would be happy to engage in discussions. CAN THE UNION ANSWER WHY THEY DID NOTHING FOR 2 YEARS AND WHY THEY SAID VEOLIA ARE NOT WILLING TO TALK WHEN THEY CLEARLY ARE...... THIS SHOULD BE REVIEWED????

2022-06-22 19:16:56

Boris Johnson said that he wants the UK to be a high wage economy. It seems that these higher wages are not for refuse workers, rail workers, teachers, health workers, or other public service employees. Why is that? However, increased bonuses for foreign bankers are OK. I guess that shows what the priorities are for this government. I don't think strikes are the best option - a wise person once told me that "work to rule" is a much better option. The company still has to pay the employees, but little work gets done because all managers are too incompetent to work within the rules.

2022-06-22 21:56:16

have you seen the wage they are on 50p more than a 18 yr old in Holland and Barrett’s they haven’t had a decent pay rise in years working outside in the freezing cold and todays heat wearing full uniform more houses means more bins but yet not been given extra crews yet they pay agency more money that’s where it’s getting wasted

2022-06-22 22:23:57

Deserve a decent pay rise look at the bad weather they all work in why should they be treated any different and anyone else stand your ground boys

2022-06-22 22:58:03

I never begrudge any man or woman getting a payrise. Working class people deserve better pay

2022-06-23 07:51:51

Russia invades Ukraine,Britain supports Ukraine, left wing unions suddenly decide national strike is required( even though wages have been suppressed since 2008 and they were not inclined to act), just maybe there is a link here.

2022-06-23 08:51:12

Theman what on earth ! UK Inflation since 2008 has averaged at 2.54% per year. (https://www.rateinflation.com/inflation-rate/uk-historical-inflation-rate/) and the interest rate has been 0.5% or lower since 2008 until this April when its been on the rise. In November 2021 inflation hit 5.1% and has steadily risen to 9.1% in May and projected to be 11% by the end of this year. The cost of living for all is going to be 11% higher and if your hard up the cost of borrowing money is on the rise. That is why workers in Unions are pushing for a good pay rise. Workers not in a Union do not have collective bargaining power

2022-06-23 12:20:28

The government adjusts the way it measures inflation to keep it low. Real inflation has been running at about double the gov figures. The point I make is that going on strike when we are going into a recession will make thing worse not better. Striking is far more effective when things are going well or as you are coming out of recession. The unions have had a good argument for strike action in many sectors over the last 10 years, but they decide to act together just as the economy is going wrong. I ask why they did not take action sooner. Striking during a recession always ultimately results in job losses whether the strike is effective or not, but striking when not in recession sometimes does not result in job losses later, as the economy can carry the extra burden easier. So maybe there are other forces at work here.

2022-06-23 14:22:51

7% is a good offer. The unions are doing this for political reasons. There's a concerted effort to try to destabilise the government. It'll backfire though because people will point the finger at the Labour MPs who are standing on picket lines. In the meantime the general public suffer.

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