Waste workers say stop strike action by talking
WASTE workers in Widnes are backing strike action in the ongoing row over unpaid shifts.
Unite members in Cheshire, employed by Veolia Environmental Services UK Ltd, voted for strike action and action short of a strike, including an overtime ban, in their dispute over unpaid shifts.
Workers at the Ditton Road site are employed on a contract of any five shifts from seven. However, the Unite Union says drivers are not being paid if they work a sixth shift in a seven-day period.
78.3% voted in favour of strike action and action short of strike on a turnout of 92%.
Unite is calling on Veolia management to enter into ‘serious negotiations’ to avert action.
Unite regional officer Steven Gerrard said: “The massive vote in favour of strike action by Unite members sends a clear message to Veolia bosses that they must now come up with a reasonable proposal to resolve this dispute.
“If strike action takes place then this could have a serious impact on rubbish collections from a number of well-known high street brands including McDonald’s, Boots, Wetherspoon and Asda.
“This situation simply cannot continue. Unite is calling for genuine and serious talks with Veolia management to avert strike action going ahead.”
Phil Gilmour, regional director of Veolia UK, said: “We are disappointed that employees at the Widnes depot have balloted for industrial action, the dispute is currently being discussed with the National Joint Trade Unions at ACAS. Significant progress was made at the last meeting and a follow-up meeting has been scheduled in early December.”
Plans are currently under way to agree on dates for the strikes to commence, however Unite say they are commited to doing all within its power to resolve the dispute and remain open to negotiations with Veolia management.