Surrey refuse collection workers to go on strike next month
Refuse collection workers are to go on strike next month in a fresh dispute in the industry over pay.
The GMB said its members employed by Amey in Elmbridge and Surrey Heath will strike from August 1-19.
This area, which includes Camberley, Cobham, Esher, Frimley, Walton-on-Thames and Weybridge, will see no kerbside rubbish collection for the period, with further walkouts planned, said the union.
Paul Grafton, GMB regional officer, said: “We have continually pushed Amey since April over pay as our members feel they are woefully underpaid and completely under-valued.
“Our members are at least £3 per hour underpaid, plus they don’t have the same levels of sick pay or pension benefits compared to those who are still working under local authority control elsewhere.
“The waste industry has become a race to the bottom when it comes to terms and conditions of employment as they attempt to use other waste contractors as comparators to drive wages down, something that has been happening for some time now within the entire industry.
“Residents of Surrey Heath and Elmbridge Borough Councils can now look forward to what is looking likely to be the hottest and now probably the smelliest August for many years.”
Surrey Heath Councillor Colin Dougan, portfolio holder for environment and community, said: “It is very disappointing that the GMB and Amey have not been able to come to an agreement on pay and that the GMB have decided to go down the route of strike action.
“Our priority is always serving our community. We are working to ensure Amey have contingency plans in place. The contingency plans aim to minimise the impact on residents – but can’t be finalised until the GMB communicate the extent of the strike action.
“We will be working hard to protect the core food and waste collection services that our residents most rely on, and to do this we may need to temporarily redirect resources away from other services such as recycling and bulky waste collection and street cleaning.”
The GMB has held a series of strikes this year among refuse collection workers in several parts of the country over pay.Published: by Radio NewsHub