Tower Hamlet refuse workers to strike

Refuse workers in Tower Hamlets are to strike over unsettled holiday pay arrears.

The Unite members, employed by Veolia, are angry that around 150 of them are owed a significant amount by the company. Instead of settling the claim collectively, the firm has deterred staff from claiming the arrears by requiring individuals to launch “complicated and drawn out” legal proceedings.

As a result, workers voted 96.5% in favour of strike action on a 70% turnout. They will take seven days’ strike action beginning on March 9 at 3pm.

Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon said: “Veolia has caused these strikes by attempting to weasel out of paying the substantial holiday arrears it owes staff. The company now has to answer to Tower Hamlets residents who will be understandably angry at having to put up with overflowing bins and piles of rubbish.

“Our members have been left with no choice but to vote for strike action after Veolia forced each of them to launch complicated and drawn out legal claims to retrieve holiday pay that was theirs to begin with. This was nothing but a dishonourable attempt to put hard working staff off claiming what was owed.

“Veolia still has time to resolve this dispute before rubbish collections grind to a halt by agreeing to provide the collective financial settlement that should have been offered to begin with.”

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