UNION

GMB hits back at grotesque slur over Birmingham bin worker compensation payments

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21 Feb 2019
Press Office

Press Office

GMB, the union for Birmingham Council workers, has hit back over claims over so-called secret payments to members amidst ongoing strike action by Unite refuse members. 

The slap down comes after claims non-GMB Council workers had faced pay discrimination for taking strike action in 2017.

Any suggestion GMB members received payments in return for not striking in 2017 is nothing short of a grotesque slur. We will make no apology for standing up for our members in the face of injustice or holding employers to account.

Joe Morgan, Regional Secretary

GMB said the secret talks between Birmingham Council and Unite the Union in 2017 had resulted in members’ contracts being effectively ripped up, ignoring collective bargaining arrangements and constituted a breach of the Council's statutory obligations.

The union subsequently successfully pursued the issue with the Council, securing compensation settlements over the failure to consult GMB about the changes.

Joe Morgan, Regional Secretary said:

“Any suggestion GMB members received payments in return for not striking in 2017 is nothing short of a grotesque slur. We will make no apology for standing up for our members in the face of injustice or holding employers to account.

“It was Unite who demanded GMB’s blacklisting from the negotiations during the 2017 dispute and the Council which foolishly complied with this bizarre request. It is for the Council and Unite to explain why those secret talks took place.

“But they did, and it became clear that following those talks an agreement was reached between Unite and the Council behind closed doors. The Council then tried to impose new working arrangements on our members without undertaking any meaningful consultation with GMB – as required by law. 

“The Council effectively ripped up our members' contracts of employment and imposed a set of changes to terms and conditions. This failure to consult GMB ignored collective bargaining arrangements and constituted a breach of the Council's statutory obligations.

It was Unite who demanded GMB’s blacklisting from the negotiations during the 2017 dispute and the Council which foolishly complied with this bizarre request.

Joe Morgan, Regional Secretary

“Faced with such behaviour GMB, of course, did not and could not ignore the actions of the Council. We pursued justice for our members and we secured a settlement to compensate our members for the Council’s failure to follow its legal obligations.

“No member of GMB received any additional payment for not striking.

"To give the impression  otherwise, as some commentators have, is not only inaccurate, but frankly beneath those linking our members’ democratic right not to take strike action in 2017 and the compensation payment our members received for the breach by the Council of their legal obligations.”

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