Bin workers in Sandwell start nine days of strike action

  • Refuse workers in Sandwell begin nine days of striking, after rejecting a pay offer claming it was a "real terms pay cut".

Bin collections for over 125,000 homes in Sandwell face two weeks of disruption, as refuse workers begin nine days of strike action.

The GMB Union announced last week that industrial action would restart from Monday and continue until 16 June after members rejected a pay offer.

Refuse workers have rejected the latest offer from Serco, claiming it was a "real terms pay cut" with the union labelling it as a "disgrace".

Nine days of strike action are now scheduled to take place from 5.30am to noon on June 6, 7, 8 ,12, 13, 14, 15 and 16.

Those on strike include street cleansing teams, tip workers and those who drive and load bin lorries.

Bin workers are employed by Serco, contracted by Sandwell Council.

Workers say Serco needs to provide an offer that properly reflects their value "before it’s too late". Credit: ITV News Central

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".

Serco says it's disappointed that the GMB Union has decided not to suspend the strike actions while discussions are still ongoing.

Tony Marston, Senior Contract Manager at Serco said, “It is always our intention to work collaboratively with our trade union partners, so we are disappointed the decision has been taken by the GMB not to suspend this strike action, while discussions are still ongoing. We would like to reassure residents that we are doing all that we can to minimise disruption to services and offer our apologies for any inconvenience caused because of this action.”

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 Sandwell Council website, Twitter, Facebook and the email updates service.”