WINTER TRAVEL CHAOS LOOMS AS GMB HOLDS STRIKE BALLOT OVER GRITTING
Staff forced to undertake winter gritting on low rates of pay, no stand-by allowance when on-call and risk their own insurance while working says GMB
GMB, the union for local government workers, is balloting members for strike action over winter gritting.
Members working for Carmarthenshire County Council (CCC) highways teams will vote on industrial action and action short of strike.
If members strike there could be a blanket ban on winter gritting duties - meaning roads across south Wales could grind to a halt in the new year.
The ballot follows an official dispute between GMB, Unison and Unite unions and CCC over the issue of rates of pay and new contracts for staff under-taking winter gritting duties.
The Council made an offer to staff that was rejected unanimously by members of GMB, the largest union involved - and by the other two unions - with a mandate to ballot for action if negotiations do not progress.
Carmarthenshire currently has some of the worst terms and conditions for staff under-taking gritting duties, with no stand-by allowance or retainer, and staff risking their own insurance when working.
Peter Hill, GMB Regional Organiser, said:
“Our members are angry and have given a clear signal that they are unhappy with the current arrangements.
“Staff are being forced to undertake winter gritting on low rates of pay, no stand-by allowance when on-call and to cap it off risking their own insurance while working.
“Unless Carmarthenshire County council puts forward a fairer deal then it is likely GMB members will vote for action – leading to travel chaos in the new year.”
Contact: GMB Press Office on 07958 156846 or at firstname.lastname@example.org