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.”
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