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GMB strike ballot in Kings Lynn in pay dispute

Thursday, August 21, 2014

GMB strike ballot at Kier refuse services in Kings Lynn and West Norfolk in pay dispute.

We remain committed to talk further with the company to avoid regrettable disruption but the company need to improve the offer and address the other concerns of members says GMB

GMB is organizing a strike ballot of 45 members employed by Kier Refuse Services in Kings Lynn and West Norfolk in a dispute over pay and other matters.

These members are employed by Kier on a contract providing waste and recycling services for Kings Lynn and West Norfolk Borough Council.

The company has made a final offer of 1.75% over 15 months in response to a claim for 4% over 12 months.

The ballot of members closes on 27th August 2014 and members are being asked to support strike action to secure a better offer.

GMB is involved in a separate dispute with Kier Group across the UK over their failure to compensate workers they blacklisted. Documents in the High Court show that Kier Group provided information to the blacklisting body the Consulting Association on 229 workers.

Blacklisting came to light when in 2009 the ICO seized a Consulting Association database of 3,213 construction workers and environmental activists used by 44 companies to vet new recruits and keep out of employment trade union and health and safety activists. 7 of the workers blacklisted are from Norfolk.

Kier is one of eight construction firms including Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Costain, Laing O’Rourke, Sir Robert McAlpine, Skanska UK and VINCI PLC that announced that after talks on a compensation scheme broke down with GMB that they are unilaterally going ahead with a compensation offer.

GMB consider that a compensation offer of between £15m and £20m is grossly inadequate for firms with pre-tax profits of £1.04 billion who have to own up, clean up and pay up, and until they do so they should get no more public sector work. Kier has already lost a buildings maintenance contract in Islington over failure to settle the compensation issue.

Glenn Holdom, GMB Regional Officer, said “This insulting pay offer does not reflect the effort put in by the operatives to fulfil the conditions of the contract. Even then it is a 15 month deal because they want to change the anniversary date to 1st July.

The company response is not acceptable to our members and they view this as the straw that has broken the camel’s back.

There have been a number of aggravating issues on this contract such as round imbalances, increased working hours and level of agency staff being used since the TUPE transfer from Veolia in April 2013.

In addition Kier were asked to negotiate an improvement to company sick pay but there has been no response to this.

GMB remain committed to talk further with the company to avoid regrettable disruption to the service our members provide but the company need to improve the offer and address the other concerns of members.”

End

Contact Glenn Holdom 07974 251 723 or 01603 626492 or GMB press office 07974 251823 or 07921 289880

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