Refuse workers in Doncaster announce ten days’ strike action as Suez crisis deepens

SuezRefuse workers in Doncaster have announced two five-day strikes in their pay campaign.

The Unite members, who work for private company Suez on behalf of Doncaster Council, voted 89% for action after turning down a 2% pay offer, conditional on the removal of guaranteed overtime, which would result in most workers not receiving an increase in pay.

The Suez dispute has further deepened as the company has also announced that it is looking to effectively halve the 250 strong workforce by October and is intent on making over hundred workers redundant. Unite is currently preparing to launch a separate industrial action ballot over the job cuts.

An initial strike will run from August 23 – 27, with further action being taken from September 2 – 6.

Unite regional officer Shane Sweeting said: “Unite is bitterly disappointed that Suez’s management, has made no attempt to seek to resolve the dispute. Unite recognises that if the strikes go ahead it will have a major effect on local residents but this action is being taken as a last resort.

“We urge Suez to sit down at the negotiating table, make a reasonable pay offer and withdraw its redundancy proposals which will make the contract undeliverable.”

As a result of the job cuts the company is proposing to reduce refuse collections from a five day a week service to four days. The current medical waste removal service will be cancelled; the green waste collection will change from a year round service to operating only for nine months and the company will no longer undertake the licensed removal of asbestos.

Unite is in the process of arranging meetings with Ros Jones the Mayor of Doncaster and the local MPs and hope that they will be able to put pressure on Suez to actively seek a solution to the dispute.

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