The nine dates of strike action by refuse workers in Sandwell

Sandwell refuse workers will take industrial action on nine dates in June
Members of the GMB union, working for Serco which runs bin collections in the borough, will take industrial action on nine dates in June. Credit: LDR

Refuse workers in Sandwell have confirmed the dates of nine days of strike action, after they rejected a further real terms pay cut offer from their employer.  

The GMB Union says Serco Sandwell, the outsourced refuse provider, has refused to meet the rate of inflation in pay offers.  

They say the industrial action will cover those working on:

  • street cleaning

  • waste site (at the tip)

  • waste collections (drivers and loaders on the bins)

  • administration and the transfer station

What dates are refuse workers striking ?

The refuse workers will be striking from 5.30am to 12.00 noon on:

5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th and 16th June.

Why are workers striking ?

Refuse workers are striking over pay and working conditions in an ongoing dispute.

It comes after a draft report presented by Sandwell councillors in February 2022, found Serco’s contract with Sandwell Council to be “deeply unsatisfactory” and stated “urgent action” was needed to improve bin collections.

Serco holds a 25-year contract for waste and recycling services in Sandwell.

The contract, established in November 2010, is estimated to be worth £650 million, and will end by 2035.

But the Hampshire-based company has found itself in trouble with Sandwell Council over increased complaints from residents over:

  • fly-tipping

  • lack of collections

  • waiting delays at household recycling centres

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". 

In response to the strike dates, Tony Marston, Senior Contract Manager at Serco told ITV News Central:

“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."