Brighton bin strike begins after fallout between council and union over pay and working conditions

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Bin collectors in Brighton have begun two weeks of strike action today, following a unanimous vote in favour of the action last month.The strike, which was triggered by a dispute over pay and working conditions, means Brighton's Cityclean, recycling, commercial waste and HGV drivers will go on strike for two weeks.

Of the 79.6% of GMB Union members that voted in the ballot, 100% were in favour of strike action.   

A statement from GMB Union said: "The strike vote comes over a dispute with the city's Green council over their refusal to intervene and settle an ongoing dispute around unilateral imposed daily changes and removal of drivers from long standing rounds without process, by management whim."

It continued: "These constant one-sided enforced driver removals, changes of duties, crew variations and alterations in plans around the collection of dropped work has had a detrimental impact on the HGV driver's health and well-being at the city's Hollingdean depot, and this very strong ballot outcome is a clear message to their employers that enough is enough."

  • GMB Union members on strike

In response, the City Council said: "A proposed resolution agreement is to be considered by GMB representatives, which aims to resolve the dispute and avert any further strike action."

Speaking about resolution proposals, Nick Hibberd, the council’s Executive Director for Economy, Environment & Culture, said: “To provide the best service for the city and to support staff, there are occasions where it’s felt appropriate to make crew changes, or move a member of staff from one round or crew to another."

The City Council said that they made a 'number of proposals' last night (4th October) which they are hoping the GMB and HGV drivers will agree to today.

They also thanked the GMB Union for meeting with them and holding 'constructive talks'.

Nick Hibberd, said : "I hope we can reach agreement and work towards achieving our shared vision of a city where we tackle waste and recycling together, continue collaboratively with Cityclean modernisation plans and provide the best service for residents".