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Derbyshire Dales refuse collectors strike over pay and 'disrespect'

15 Oct 2021
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GMB members at Serco in the Derbyshire Dales have taken industrial action following ‘a pattern of disrespect and low pay’. 

Dozens of workers downed tools today for the first of two strike days. 

A second strike takes place on Monday October 18. 

Derbyshire Dales refuse collectors overwhelmingly voted for strike action after the company refused to improve on a below inflation pay offer – amounting to a real terms pay cut. 

Meanwhile workers feel disrespected after management were heard describing them as 'just legs and arms’. 

Mick Coppin, GMB Regional Organiser, said: 

"This has always been about dignity at work, something we're all entitled to.  

“Serco Derbyshire Dales have been given opportunity after opportunity to get around the table and make an offer to refuse workers that matches inflation and keep the bin collections on time. 

“Company management have failed to do this and they are to blame for these disruptions. 

“No one wants to take strike action, it's a last resort.  

“This strike will no doubt have a significant impact on bin collections throughout the area, Serco management need to take that seriously to stop waste piling high. 

“These are key workers who continued serving their communities throughout the pandemic - they are not just legs and arms.” 

“There has been a pattern of disrespect and low pay at the company. 

“It's time they were listened to, it's time for Serco to listen to the refuse workers, listen to the public and do the right thing.” 

Phil, a local resident in Wirksworth, said: 

“Our refuse workers never missed a beat, even at the height of the pandemic.  

“It’s shocking to hear that Serco management are refusing to recognise their hard work. 

“I know I speak for a lot of local people when I say we support our local refuse workers.” 

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