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Thurrock bin strike to continue into June

Workers on strike in April (Credit: Unite)

Thurrock bin crews are extending their strike action until June. 

The workers are reportedly facing cuts of between £1,200 and £3,800 a year which will leave them “struggling to pay their bills, rent and mortgages”. 

Unite is calling on Thurrock Council to end its “brutal and callous attack on the essential workers’ pay and conditions”. 

If the dispute is not resolved, refuse workers, highway maintenance and street cleaners will be on strike until Friday, 18 June. 

They first started protesting against the cuts on Tuesday, 13 April but were still collecting waste between 6am and 9am.

Earlier this week, they announced they will be striking all day meaning no waste collections will be made. 

In response, Thurrock Council has hired private contractors to pick up general waste and has created seven waste drop-off sites across the area. 

A spokesperson for the council said it is “deeply disappointed that Unite the Union has, once again, chosen to further extend strike action despite the ongoing consultation and ACAS conciliation, and without proposing any solutions to resolve the dispute.” 

Unite regional officer Michelle Cook said: “The blame for this ongoing strike lies squarely at the feet of council bosses.

“It’s an absolute disgrace that Thurrock Council is trying to slash thousands of pounds from essential workers’ pay in the middle of a health crisis.

“Thurrock Council can end this strike if it chooses. Instead it’s spending thousands of pounds on external contractors while the rubbish piles up.

“It’s time for the chief executive Lyn Carpenter and the leader of the council Cllr Rob Gledhill to end the disruption and negotiate an end to this dispute.”

In response, Cllr Andrew Jefferies, cabinet member for waste services, said “the only people that can bring this strike to an end are Unite the Union.

“It is deeply concerning to see some of the misinformation which is being shared publicly and with trade union members, and our own waste team who are much valued.

“Thurrock Council is not cutting the salaries of our waste crews or any other staff. The majority of staff are earning more and now have increased earning potential as a result of the pay review.

“Every member of staff who is negatively affected will receive a compensation package to ensure they are no worse off.

“The proposed changes to allowances include changing bank holiday overtime pay from triple time to double time. We are also proposing bringing an end the system which allows waste crews go home when they have finished their round, instead of continuing to work their full day to help colleagues on other rounds.”

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