Binmen vote to strike over ‘anti-union’ management

Posted On 18 Jun 2019 at 10:33 am

Almost nine out of ten Brighton binmen who voted in a ballot say they are prepared to strike over a breakdown in relations between the union and management.

GMB has accused Brighton and Hove City Council of anti-union behaviour, saying management have been building dossiers and not allowing certain reps into disciplinary meetings – claims the council denies.

This week, GMB announced the results of its ballot – but said it will still approach this week’s ACAS conciliation hopeful of finding a solution.

However, new council leader Nancy Platts said she was keen to hear more about the allegations so they can be addressed, and to restore a good working relationship with the union.

GMB and the council’s chief executive Geoff Raw are due to meet on Thursday.

Mark Turner, GMB B50 Branch Secretary said: “GMB members have clearly chosen to support their unfairly targeted workplace reps and union, recognising that this sort of attack if left unchallenged will impact upon their employment rights to be represented by the rep of their choice and that their GMB rep is then not targeted by rogue managers unfairly for carrying out his union role.

“The chief exec is totally responsible for this mess, and by ignoring numerous opportunities to distance himself from some of his manager’s action at the depot.

“Members have been left with no option, because of his obvious support of anti trade union actions, but to escalate matters to the point of taking action.”

Gary Palmer, GMB Regional Organiser said: “It’s up to the council and the chief exec now to de-escalate the situation, but saying that he could have done exactly that months ago instead of burying his head in the sand and simply crossing his fingers that the ballot result would fall in his favour.

“Even with this strong ballot result we will approach this week’s ACAS conciliation hopeful of finding a solution so we can stand down the threat of industrial action.

“We will need to either have found a solution or be positive that the work in progress is going to lead to an outcome we can all sign up to, if industrial action is to be avoided. So let’s hope they are now taking this seriously.”

Council leader Nancy Platts said: “For the council to deliver the best services for our residents, businesses and visitors, working closely with trades unions is crucial and is always our aim.

“We take very seriously the allegations of anti-trade union activity of some managers and at a meeting taking place this Thursday with GMB and the arbitration service ACAS, we’re keen to hear exactly what these allegations are so we can address them.

“We know there are problems in our relationship with GMB and we’re determined to resolve this through the ACAS discussions.

“We already have two further meetings with ACAS and GMB following the meeting on Thursday to ensure this happens.”

The Ballot result returned on a 75.2% turnout, was as follows:

Prepared to take part in strike action:
Yes 87.3%
No 12.7%

Prepared to action short of strike action:
Yes 90.5%
No 9.5%

  1. Hovelassies Reply

    Anything to do with the CityClean fraud arrests and the large dossier on a union rep?
    If it is anything like last time it will be a very high public health risk. Vermin, VOS etc. The public health risks of rubbish accumulated was completely ignored in the last strike and the administration pretended there was NO public health risk, when it was substantial. Negligence. Under no circumstances should this administration put the public health at risk as was done last time. Intervention from outside parties to keep the streets free of garbage is warranted based on risk to health alone. That is indisputable. This will be the first real test for Nancy Platts. If she is acting responsibly, she will seek immediate advice from public health professionals and prepare a contingency plan to intervene to PREVENT any public health risk whatsoever.
    • Bacteria, insects and vermin thrive from garbage
    • Overflowing waste causes air pollution and respiratory diseases
    • Garbage contaminates surface waters, which affects all ecosystems
    • Direct handling of overflowing waste exposes for health risks
    • Inefficient waste control is bad for municipal well-being

  2. SamC Reply

    Apparently a temporary Hove amenity tip for household waste will be established in the GMB office car park at the corner of Church and Selborne Rds. So no need for locals to worry.

  3. bradly Reply

    “we’re keen to hear exactly what these allegations are so we can address them.” about time too = let us readers know too

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