Poverty pay is driving Northampton’s refuse workers to the breadline this Christmas, says GMB.
GMB Union has today announced strike action by refuse workers in Northampton.
Workers employed by Veolia delivering refuse services for West Northamptonshire Council will down tools in the dispute over pay and conditions.
The action will impact household, business and hospital waste collections as well as street cleaning services delivered from Veolia’s Westbridge depot in Northampton.
Currently the majority of Veolia refuse workers at the depot, including drivers, loads and admin staff, earn just 3p above minimum wage.
GMB union is calling for a £15 an hour wage for Northampton’s refuse workers.
Workers will down tools on 28 – 30 December and 2 – 5 January with an over time ban throughout the Christmas period.
Around 80 workers are expected to join the strike action.
Rachelle Wilkins, GMB Organiser, said:
“Our members are taking a stand this Christmas and calling time on Veolia’s toxic culture of poverty pay and workplace bullying.
“These workers did their duty for Northampton throughout the pandemic, only to be driven to the breadline by Veolia this Christmas.
“Now families, businesses and communities across Northampton face a Christmas of yuletide bin mayhem.
“This action will see bins overflowing within days with our streets and public spaces uncleaned at one of Northampton’s busiest periods.
“Our members have been driven to this by the greed and inaction of Veolia top brass, which makes it all the more shocking that Veolia and West Northamptonshire Council seem to be washing their hands of the crisis facing local people.
“GMB’s door is open, but time is running out for Veolia to get back around the table and end this crisis before it’s too late”.