Unite negotiates inflation-busting pay increase at Bristol Waste

Unite has negotiated an inflation-beating pay increase for hundreds of workers at Bristol Waste.

The two-year deal worth 6.2% in total means a typical worker will receive an increase worth around £1,400 – almost double the company’s original pay offer. Unite members have overwhelmingly voted to accept the pay offer.

Despite the company making profits worth £5,600 per employee, it had refused to make a decent pay offer. A sustained campaign by union activists between August 2018 and January 2019 led to the company’s original offer of 3.5% over two years increase to 6.2 per cent over two years.

In an attempt to sweeten its deal, Bristol Waste even purchased tickets for its staff to see Cinderella at the Bristol Hippodrome which only served to strengthen the resolve of the workforce to seek a fair pay increase.

Bristol Waste is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bristol council and employs around 600 people to undertake refuse collection, street cleaning and recycling in the city. The company is highly profitable, its turnover increased from £15 million in 2016 to £28 million in 2017, with its pre-tax profits rising from £2 million to £3 million during this time.

Assisted by Unite’s organising department the union representatives at Bristol Waste boosted Unite’s membership which in turn boosted the workers’ engagement which led to a series of overwhelming rejections of the company’s pay offer.

Unite regional officer Ken Fish said: “A sustained campaign by workers turned a pantomime drama into a pay victory. The organising campaign at Bristol Waste helped workers secure an inflation beating pay increase worth around £1,400, almost double the company’s original pay offer.

“The deal shows that when workers get organised they can win in the workplace.”

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