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Thurrock bin strike suspended as “positive negotiations” continue

Workers were demonstrating against cuts in April (Credit: Unite the Union)

Thurrock bin crews have suspended strike action while talks continue with Thurrock Council. 

Around 90 workers have been protesting against potential cuts of between £1,200 and £3,800 a year since Tuesday, 13 April.

Unite the Union said they voted to suspend the action after talks with Thurrock Council delivered a breakthrough although details of that breakthrough have not yet been revealed. 

Household waste collections are set to resume from Monday, 24 May with additional work taking place to collect waste and recycling which has built up as a result of the strike action over the last few weeks. 

Unite regional officer, Michelle Cook, said: “This deal is a victory for the workers who stood firm for six weeks in a strike to defend their pay. The workers and the residents of Thurrock will be pleased that the council have amended their plans, and services can get back to normal.

“These essential workers, who were applauded for their work through the pandemic, now deserve to be applauded for the solidarity and determination they showed. When workers organise, workers win.”

The local council said “positive negotiations” with Unite the Union are ongoing and described the announcement as a “significant step forward”. 

Leader of Thurrock Council, Cllr Rob Gledhill, said: “I am pleased that our ongoing discussions with the trade unions have resulted in Unite the Union suspending their waste collection strike action meaning that we can welcome our highly valued waste collection staff back to work next week.

“The council has always maintained its commitment to reaching an agreed outcome and although the negotiations are ongoing, this positive step by Unite is welcomed.”

Waste drop-off sites will remain open this weekend as planned to allow people to dispose of bagged household waste before collections resume next week. 

Cllr Andrews Jefferies, cabinet member for environment, said: “I know how important the waste collection service is to all our residents so it is fantastic news that the service will be reinstated from Monday 24 May across the borough.

“I thank all residents for continuing to work with the council by responsibly using the bring sites during the last few weeks.”

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