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Last Ditch Talks N. Somerset Refuse

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Last Ditch Talks At Keir May Gurney Refuse And Recycling Contract In North Somerset In Pay Dispute On Friday 6th February

Failing a satisfactory offer GMB will serve formal notice of industrial action on the company and arrange a Shop Stewards meeting to decide on the dates and form of that industrial action that will definitely include strike action says GMB.

Last ditch talks will be held this Friday (6th February 2015) in the unresolved dispute on pay for 70 GMB members employed by Keir May Gurney on the refuse and recycling contract for North Somerset Council. GMB members were balloted for strike action in the unresolved dispute on pay which is unresolved from April 2014. The ballot closed on 28th January with a 93.5% yes vote for strike action.

At talks yesterday (3rd February 2015) held at the Weston-Super-Mare with Senior Kier May Gurney Managers, GMB put forward a number of proposals on behalf of GMB members at the kerbside collection depot and the household waste recycling centres.

GMB expects a significantly improved offer resulting from proposals at the last ditch talks on Friday 6th February.

Should this not be the case GMB will serve formal notice of industrial action on the company.

GMB members are employed on the refuse contract for kerbside collection across North Somerset and in the household waste recycling centres in Weston Super Mare, Backwell and Portishead. Keir May Gurney has had the contract with North Somerset Council since 2010 and the current contract runs until 2017, with an option to extend for a further seven years.

Negotiation on the pay review, due from 1st April 2014, were protracted for several reason. When the outcome of talks was put to GMB members earlier this year they rejected the offer by a 90% majority. When this rejection was conveyed to the employer the response was that it was a final offer and that no improvement would be made.

The company has refused a GMB request for information on the cost of the paybill and other information relevant to the negotiations that Keir has a legal duty to supply to assist negotiations. GMB has begun proceedings at the Central Arbitration Committee (CAC) to secure this information.

GMB is already in dispute with Kier over the blacklisting of at least 155 construction 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.

GMB held a protest demonstration at the company offices in Sandy, Bedfordshire in October to shame Paul McCreath, Human Resources Director and Kathy Almansoor, Group Employee Relations Manager for their part in blacklisting.

Paul McCreath was Human Resources Operations Manager for HBG Construction / BAM from 1998 until 2009 and Kathy Almansoor has been Group Employee Relations Manager at Kier since 2002. Paul McCreath is now Human Resources Director at Kier Group having been with them since 2009. They have yet to come clean and apologise for their part in the hurt and damage caused by their current and former employers who were involved in blacklisting at least 155 workers.

Adie Baker, GMB Regional Officer said, “GMB has negotiated in good faith and has made it quite clear that if Kier May Gurney is serious about avoiding strike action, it must come back to the table on Friday 6th Feburary with a significantly improved offer.

Failing a satisfactory offer that GMB can put to its members for their consideration. GMB will arrange a Shop Stewards meeting to decide on the dates and form of industrial action that will definitely include strike action.”


Contact: Adie Baker 07980 753 128 or 0117 9554470 or GMB press office 07974 251823.

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