Refuse collectors in Sussex launch two-week strike over pay

Refuse collection workers have begun a two-week strike today (Monday 14th March) in the latest in a series of pay disputes in the sector.

Members of the GMB at Adur and Worthing Councils are mounting a picket line as part of their pay campaign, threatening disruption to refuse collection and recycling.

GMB official Gary Palmer said: “Strike action is always our last resort, but GMB members are ready.

“It’s up to the officers at Adur and Worthing which way they want to play it.

“Adur and Worthing’s elected councillors should think about pressuring their directors and executive to formally speak with us GMB sooner rather than later.

“If we see a prolonged dispute, the decision not to speak with GMB may come back to haunt elected officials come election time in May.

“If residents are unhappy with rubbish on the streets and on their doorsteps, they can let their councillors know how they feel.”

Refuse collectors went on strike in Eastbourne in February

A council spokesman said a good pay deal had been negotiated with the Unison union, adding: “From today, Adur and Worthing residents will suffer because of a decision by the GMB which we believe to be completely unjustified.

“The pay rises we have negotiated with staff and Unison are a good deal for our workers but the GMB appears to want nothing to do with them because it wasn’t involved in the negotiations. The GMB continues to claim that we are ignoring it but this could not be further from the truth.

“The offer on the table, already accepted by most staff, is better than one negotiated and accepted by the GMB recently at another local authority.

“It might seem that the strike action is about the GMB trying to push Unison out of the service – not about getting a good deal for its members – and we hope that common sense can still prevail.”