Veolia bosses are urged to ‘get back around the table’ or risk rubbish piling up on the streets of Bromley this Christmas, after binmen voted yes for strike action.
The refuse workers, members of the country’s biggest union Unite, have today (Wednesday 28 November) returned a solid yes vote for strike action over the sacking of four colleagues for alleged gross misconduct, with 81.8 per cent voting in favour on a 55 per cent turnout.
The four were sacked in a row over removing ‘excess’ garden rubbish at the request of a resident for payment - an allegation that has since proved to be false - after an internal appeals process uncovered that the workers refused to accept any money.
Despite the finding, Veolia has refused to re-instate the four workers who have more than 100 years of experience between them. The company has shifted the blame to its client, Bromley council, for preventing the men’s return – a move the union rejects.
Unite will consult with its members before announcing strike dates. In the meantime Unite is calling on the company to see sense and re-instate the four men.
Onay Kasab, Unite regional officer, said: “We have warned all along that our members would vote to defend their workmates, unjustly sacked for going the extra mile. This is a vote for fairness and a stand for solidarity.
“Veolia bosses can no longer stick their heads in the sand – they got it wrong – it’s time to get back around the table and give the men their jobs back.
“Bromley council needs to stop meddling in this dispute and let Unite and Veolia settle the matter. If it doesn’t, it will only have itself to blame when the bins are not emptied this Christmas.”
For further information contact Onay Kasab, Unite regional officer, on 07771818637 or Chantal Chegrinec, Unite communications officer, on 07774 146 777
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.5 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.