Binmen back at work after lorries cleaned

Posted On 17 Nov 2020 at 9:41 am

Cityclean workers are back on their rounds this morning after their lorries got a good clean yesterday.

Members of the GMB union – which represents most of the binmen – downed tools yesterday morning because they were concerned that lax cleaning posed a coronavirus risk, particularly from contaminated residential waste.

Since then, the council has deep cleaned about six vehicles and staff have been given statutory training on how to clean them themselves.

GMB regional organiser Gary Palmer said: “A number of vehicles were cleaned yesterday and staff were trained in how to clean the vehicles themselves.

“The workforce have put their trust in management and given them time to get he rest of the fleet cleaned.

“This is the council’s last opportunity.”

Mr Palmer’s GMB colleague Mark Turner, Sussex branch secretary, has been warning over the past few weeks that another dispute over the pay and terms of staff being transferred from Mears could result in an all out strike across Brighton and Hove City Council.

But Mr Palmer said that the binmen refusing to work yesterday – which they did under Section 4 of the Health and Safety at Work Act – was not linked to this.

He also said there had been recent movement in that dispute after the new Green administration had decided to get involved.

He said: “There’s no direct link – we are still in dispute with the council over Mears. We continue to be astounded that no matter how low we put the bar, the council can’t seem to get over it.

“We are continuing to talk and we hope that now the politicians of the city are getting involved that we are going to be able to come to a resolution.

“if we rely on officers and the chief executive, we probably would be in all out strike.

“But the two aren’t linked. We are finding that numerous areas of the council are being badly run.”

Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “Crews have gone out this morning and normal work has resumed.

“The cleaning schedule was already in place and agreed.”

  1. Jonathan Simons Reply

    So the GMB have been caught out on their illegal wildcat strike action and need to shift the blame. Please can you just get on and collect our rubbish rather than carrying out this infantile war against the city

  2. Ken Barlow Reply

    It would have been the ‘usual suspects’ flexing their muscles, then realising, where else can I earn 8 hours pay for 5 hours work?

  3. Chaz Reply

    Can we package the GMB into some of these lorries and drive them out of the city please?

  4. BAHTAG Reply

    The reporter says (her words, not the Council’s) that:
    … the staff have been given statutory training on how to clean them [the dustcarts] themselves ..

    So under what statute please?

    A half-day’s ‘training’ – who’s kidding who?

    Safely and efficiently cleaning commercial vehicles is a skill in itself, and requires a special cleaning bay, where pollutants and pathogens can be safely collected for disposal as Hazardous Waste.

    Additionally the cleaner needs special protective clothing, probably including an air-fed helmet, plus a dirty/clean changing room (similar to those used for asbestos removal workers).

    But such professionalism in our council?

    What’s more likely is that the CityClean loaders have been bought-out with yet another bonus payment for ‘Vehicle Cleaning’?

    Just think of the practicalities:
    if there’s 12 dustcarts at Hollingdean, and one cleaning-bay (if there even is one of those?) who pays for thr crew of the last truck in line to wait (in the canteen?) for their turn to use the cleaning-bay?

    Sorry, it’s us muppets of taxpayers who do – all because CityClean management seems to lack the nous to see that a professional afternoon-evening truck-cleaning service is what’s needed, surely?

    Shoemaker stick to your last – few bin-loaders are likely to be good truck-cleaners (especially if the Council’s
    management are not providing professional facilities)!

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