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Eastbourne bin strike goes ahead

04 Jan 2022
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A bin strike in Eastbourne will go ahead after drivers voted unanimously for industrial action.

The 20 HGV drivers working for South East Environmental Services Ltd, which is owned by Eastbourne Council, voted to walk out during the festive period over pay and 'barbaric’ conditions at their depot. 

The dispute could see almost 50,000 households affected, with the first strike date on New Year’s Eve, followed by further strike action on 7 January 2022 and 10 January 2022   - with further and increasing number of dates set to be announced.  

Striking staff will be outside picketing the SEESL Eastbourne Depot in Courtlands Road from 5.30am on each of three days. 

The company’s refuse loaders have now also voted to join the dispute along with their HGV drivers.

Representatives from GMB finally got to meet with senior management seven weeks after issues were first raised, but with no agreement reached members are left with no alternative than to withdraw their labour until management see sense. 

Declan MacIntyre, GMB Organiser, said:  

"The refuse loaders have voted to be formally balloted, to join their colleagues in the dispute and that’s come about because It has taken seven weeks for management to even respond to the issues raised by staff. 

"We finally met with senior management, in the hope of perhaps suspending our action, if agreement could be reached or talks were positive. 

"But even with that initial meeting starting that way and an employer seemingly beginning to understand the barbaric conditions of which staff are expected to work under and acknowledgment that things had gotten worse since coming under the control of the council, unfortunately a reasonable offer wasn’t made, or agreement reached.  

"As we have not received any further communications from SEESL since 22 December, the walk outs will begin on New Years Eve. 

"Clearly, they are not taking GMB Union's members' issues and concerns seriously so I'm afraid the rubbish is going to remain uncollected for many and although all the staff deeply regret the impact on the residents of Eastbourne, SEESL have left them no choice. 

"GMB urges SEESL to get back around the table so we can come to an agreement on the way forward on improvements on conditions and pay for all staff working for them or this dispute is going to escalate and escalate very quickly."

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