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8 More Days Strike By Barking and Dagenham Drivers

Thursday, April 30, 2015

8 Day Strike From 1st May By Barking And Dagenham Refuse Drivers In Pay And Safety Dispute After Talks At ACAS Fail To Avert Action

It is not possible to bridge difference between union members and the council by haggling across the table at ACAS and both parties agreed that says GMB.

Over 100 GMB members employed as bin lorry drivers for Barking & Dagenham Council Environmental Services will take strike action from 6am on Friday 1st May until 10pm on Friday 8th May in a dispute over a £1,000 a year cut in contractual pay arising from the council cutting corners on the safety of refuse vehicles. See notes to editors for copies of previous press releases.

A third day of talks at ACAS on 30th April failed to avert this eight days of strike action. The drivers have already taken seven days of strike action on18/19/20 March and on 7/8 and 23/ 24 April.

The details of where the picket line will be placed are as follows:

From 6am on 1st May to 8th May 2015,

Outside Frizlands Lane Depot,

Rainham Road North,

Dagenham, RM10 7HX

There will be members with flags and union banners on picket duty there. GMB officers and members will also be available for interview there.

Brian Strutton, GMB National Secretary for Public Services, said “GMB attended a further ACAS meeting with London Borough of Barking and Dagenham (LBBD) management today 30th April, still trying to resolve the dispute over refuse, grounds and cleansing drivers' pay.

These drivers stand to lose £1000 a year and so far the Council has offered them a one-off £300 'goodwill gesture'. Today they upped that to £400. Having told them that a loss of £1000 a year for life would require considerable compensation (we suggested £5000) I think it is pretty obvious that there is a huge gap between us.

It is not possible to bridge such a difference by haggling across the table at ACAS and both parties agreed that. We said there needs to be a fundamental change in the approach to this dispute and GMB therefore recommended that ACAS talks should be reconvened when meaningful negotiations were possible. This was agreed.

However, following that discussion the LBBD management went behind our backs and did a deal with Unison and Unite (who don't have any members involved in this strike). I have to say that I just don't understand what those unions are doing, colluding with the Council leadership to undermine an official strike. I do know what LBBD management are doing - splitting the unions to try to divide and conquer. It won't work.

GMB members who have been striking to protect their pay will be incensed by this attempt to stab them in the back by the Council and the other unions. If anyone thinks this will weaken GMB or our members' determination they can think again.

So the strike planned for tomorrow will now have to go ahead. And we will escalate the action beyond that.

The blatant attack on GMB and the drivers is now a dispute with all our members.”

Ends

Contact:  Brian Strutton 07860 606 137 or Keith Williams, GMB Senior Organiser on 07710 631339 or GMB Press Office on 07974 251823 or 07921 289880

Notes to editors

Copies of previous GMB press releases:

GMB press release 22 April

STRIKE ON 23/24 APRIL BY BARKING AND DAGENHAM REFUSE DRIVERS IN PAY AND SAFETY DISPUTE AFTER NO TALKS AT ACAS ON 21ST APRIL TO AVERT 10 DAYS OF STRIKE

ACAS has convened further talks next week when GMB will be prepared to work for an outcome and we hope the council turn up this time with a fresh approach says GMB

Over 100 GMB members employed as bin lorry drivers for Barking & Dagenham Council Environmental Services will take strike action from 6am on Thursday 23rd April until 10pm on Friday 24th April in a dispute over a £1,000 a year cut in contractual pay arising from the council cutting corners on the safety of refuse vehicles. Details of where the picket lines will be on both days are set out below.

This is after Barking and Dagenham managers refused to meet with GMB for talks at ACAS on Tuesday 21st April. The managers attended at ACAS but refused to sit in the same room as GMB and their own employees at ACAS.

The talks has been called to avert a further 10 days of strike action after GMB gave notice of two days strike from 6am on Thursday 23rd April until 10pm on Friday 24th April and a further 8 days from 6am on Friday 1st to 10pm on Friday 8th May. Members have already taken five days of strike action on 18/19/20 March and on 7/8 April in this dispute. See notes to editors for previous GMB press releases.

The details of where the picket line will be placed are as follows:

From 6am on 23 and 24 April 2015,

Outside Frizlands Lane Depot,

Rainham Road North,

Dagenham, RM10 7HX

There will be members with flags and union banners on picket duty there. GMB officers and members will also be available for interview there.

Paul Hayes, GMB Regional Secretary, said “Following a completely wasted day at ACAS Barking and Dagenham managers were not prepared to even meet with GMB or their own employees in the same room to solve the dispute.

This must be a massive disappointment to the residents of Barking and Dagenham that the council they elected does not seem interested in bringing this dispute to an end.

The workforce representatives attended ACAS today with the intention of trying to avert further industrial action. The residents of Barking and Dagenham will make their judgement when the opportunity arises.

ACAS has convened further talks next week. GMB will again be prepared to work for an outcome at ACAS. We just hope the council turn up this time with a fresh approach.”

GMB release 18th March 2015

GMB STRIKE IN BARKING AND DAGENHAM ON 18,19 & 20 MARCH WITH A FURTHER TWO DAYS ON 7TH & 8TH APRIL OVER £1,000 PAY CUT FOR REFUSE DRIVERS

An overwhelming 75% of the local community support the decision of members to take strike action to defend their wages says GMB

GMB members employed as bin lorry drivers for Barking & Dagenham Council Environmental Services will take strike action on 18/19/20 March and on 7/8 April over a £1,000 a year pay cut. See notes to editors for previous GMB press release.

Keith Williams, GMB Senior Organiser said “Local residents were asked to respond to an independent online survey conducted by the Barking & Dagenham Post on Barking & Dagenham Council’s decision to cut pay of refuse/ cleansing drivers by £1,000 a year. An overwhelming 75% of the local community support the decision of GMB members to take strike action to defend their wages.

The residents have spoken and this shows the high esteem that they hold for the council employees who do such a valuable role in the community where they all live and serve.

The Council should now listen to the public and do the right thing and reverse their arbitrary decision to cut the wages of GMB members by £1,000.”

Ends

GMB press release dated 3rd March.

GMB Members To Strike Over £1,000 A Year Pay Cut When Council Pay Four New Employees Annual Six Figure Salaries Each

GMB is calling on London Borough of Barking & Dagenham Council to reconsider the need for the expensive, new posts and halt the attack on Council bin lorry drivers who deliver frontline services directly to residents

GMB members employed as bin lorry drivers for Barking & Dagenham Council Environmental Services have voted to strike over a £1,000 a year pay cut. The ballot produced a 90% turnout.

Keith Williams, GMB Senior Organiser said, “There is clearly something wrong when Barking & Dagenham council is cutting the pay of front-line service workers and increasing the wage bill with the introduction of new high level posts, and at the same time compromising health & safety.

There is no doubt at all that residents need a well-functioning refuse/cleansing service but there is a question as to whether residents will benefit from any of these expensive new jobs.

The council is forcing the bin lorry drivers to defend their existing pay and working conditions against an unproven attack to the point when they have to consider strike action to keep what they already have.

GMB is calling on the council to reconsider the need for the expensive, invisible new posts and halt the attack on council employees who work on the roads delivering invaluable services to residents.”

Ends

 

 

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