Last-ditch talks fail to avert bin lorry drivers strike in Brighton and Hove

Posted On 05 Oct 2021 at 12:51 pm

Cityclean bin lorry drivers on the picket line outside the Hollingdean depot – Picture from the GMB

Rubbish and recycling bin lorry drivers started a 14-day strike this morning (Tuesday 5 October) in a dispute with Brighton and Hove City Council.

The drivers work out of the council’s Cityclean depot in Hollingdean and are angry that they keep being switched from their regular rounds with no notice.

Union leaders from the GMB held talks with council bosses this morning but these failed to end the dispute.

The strike follows what the GMB said were “failures to follow council policies and procedures” that had previously been agreed with drivers and their union.

The GMB said that there had been “unilateral decision-making around variations of duties, crew changes, planning for collecting of dropped work and the accumulating resultant effect and toll on driver’s health and wellbeing”.

The council said yesterday that it hoped the talks this morning would resolve the dispute.

The council’s executive director for the economy, environment and culture Nick Hibberd said that he was hopeful that prolonged strike action would not be necessary.

Mr Hibberd said: “To provide the best service for the city and to support staff, there are occasions where it’s felt appropriate to make crew changes or move a member of staff from one round or crew to another.

“Changes are requested to prioritise areas where rubbish and recycling has unfortunately built up due to unavoidable staff shortages, vehicle breakdowns or for performance reasons.

“We have listened to the concerns of staff about these requests and we have made a number of detailed proposals which we hope GMB and the HGV drivers will agree.

“I want to thank GMB for their willingness to meet and hold constructive talks and I also thank Cityclean staff for their continued hard work.

 

“I hope we can reach agreement and work towards achieving our shared vision of a city where we tackle waste and recycling together, continue collaboratively with Cityclean modernisation plans and provide the best service for residents.

“We understand residents will have concerns about disruption in the coming days and once again reiterate our commitment to finding a positive resolution for staff and the city.”

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