Month-long bin strike extended for two weeks as latest Biffa pay offer rejected by GMB Union

Refuse workers began industrial action in April. Credit: ITV News Meridian

A month-long bin strike in parts of East Sussex, affecting almost 65,000 households, is set to continue for at least another two weeks.

Refuse workers in Wealden, who are members of the GMB Union, began industrial action on April 25 over pay and working conditions.

The latest pay offer from employer Biffa was rejected on Thursday, May 26.

The GMB Union said the bin strike will continue until at least June 11.

Cllr Gavin Blake-Coggins, Wealden District Council, Lib Dem spoke about the resident's reaction: "They're angry, they're angry, there's no two ways about it, I mean the rubbish is piling up all over the place.

"They've been offered 17% and they've turned it down, how can they justify that? Seriously, I don't know that they can."

Wealden is the latest part of the south of England affected by strike action following a six week walkout in Adur and Worthing.

Previous strike action has also taken place over the last twelve months in Brighton and Hove and Eastbourne.

Pop-up sites have opened for residents to drop off their rubbish.

The first pop-up waste disposal site opened in Hailsham on Wednesday, May 25, allowing residents to drop off their rubbish during the strike.

The dispute was sparked by GMB members turning down a real terms pay cut from Biffa bosses. 

Gary Palmer, GMB Officer, said: "GMB did everything we could to reach an agreement.

"Unfortunately Biffa bosses don’t seem as keen as we are to end this dispute for the people of Wealden.

Rubbish began piling up after refuse workers began strike action. Credit: ITV News Meridian

"There are certain red lines our members will not cross.

"We aren’t that far away from a deal and our door remains open, but for now on the strike will continue."

A Biffa spokesperson said: "We are working hard to minimise disruption following the decision by some of our colleagues to go on strike. 

"We will continue to try and resolve the dispute as soon as we possibly can."