Recycling workers at Kier Ltd in Bath and North East Somerset are striking tomorrow (Friday 15 January) in their ongoing same job, same pay dispute. It is the second day of stoppage this week.
The Unite members are staging a picket at Unit 4, Ashmead Road, Keynsham BS31 1SX between 06:30 and 14:30 hours.
Unite, the country’s largest union representing the 45 striking workers, is urging Kier Ltd to drop its union-bashing rhetoric and get back around the negotiating table to achieve an equitable settlement.
The union’s members are unhappy that workers delivering exactly the same service for Bristol City Council, just six miles away, are earning £2 more an hour, with extra crew.
The company’s latest three-year pay deal was rejected by members as it does not go far enough to address the £2 an hour difference in pay between themselves and workers doing the same job at the nearby Bristol site.
The union is concerned that Keir will not be around to honour any pay deal as there are no guarantees that it will still be operating the contract to 2017.
The workers, operating out of the Keynsham depot, voted overwhelmingly for strike action with 86 per cent in favour and 100 per cent for action short of a strike last month over the pay inequality issue.
Unite regional officer Jerry Pickford said: “Kier Ltd is fiercely fighting a rear-guard action to defend this glaring pay inequality. It now needs to drop its bully boy tactics and start negotiating seriously to resolve this dispute.
“Loaders at the Keynsham depot are paid just £7.81-an-hour, £2 less than workers doing the same job at a site just six miles away. The three-year pay deal does not give our members a wage they can live on, which can only be addressed by fair and equal pay.
“Our members are angry that they earn £2 less an hour for delivering exactly the same service with a two person crew, while workers in nearby Bristol earn more but operate a three person crew. If you do the same job you should get the same pay.
“After the appalling way our members have been treated, they have no faith that the company will honour even its latest inadequate pay offer.
"Kier is promising a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow with no guarantee that it will stick around to honour the pay offer over the next two pay reviews.”
Strike action will continue with a series of 48 hour stoppages starting at 00:01 on:
•Thursday 21 January and Friday 22 January 2016
•Thursday 28 January and Friday 29 January 2016
•Thursday 4 February and Friday 5 February 2016
•Thursday 11 February and Friday 12 February 2016
For further information please contact Unite campaigns officer Chantal Chegrinec on 07774 146 777
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Web: unitetheunion.org
Notes to editors
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey