Refuse workers in Bromley, South London, who staged a mass walkout yesterday (4 October) over the sacking of four colleagues, have vowed to ‘take action for as long as it takes’ to get the men their jobs back, warns Unite, Britain’s biggest union.
The union will begin the process of balloting more than 120 of its members working for Veolia Environmental Services over the sackings unless the company re-instates the four. Any strike action would hit household rubbish collection across Bromley.
Wednesday’s sacking of the four workers for ‘gross misconduct’ for allegedly accepting a tip for removing excess rubbish sparked a mass walkout yesterday by more than 120 refuse workers.
The refuse workers, who work for Veolia Environmental Services removing rubbish from Bromley households in South London, refused to leave the depot in protest at the sackings.
At a mass meeting the workers agreed to return to work as a goodwill gesture, but unanimously agreed to ballot for strike action, vowing that any action would be of a ‘prolonged and sustained nature’.
Onay Kasab, Unite regional officer, said: “Unite is proud to back workers willing to stand in solidarity with wrongly sacked colleagues.
“The four sacked men have more than 100 years of service between them and were described by Veolia as ‘hard working’ – it is a bitter blow for them to be sacked in this way.
“Our members have a very clear message to Veolia bosses: Reinstate the four or we will strike for as long as it takes to get the men their jobs back.
“The ball is in Veolia’s court, it can end this dispute and avoid prolonged disruption to Bromley’s rubbish collections but it needs to get around the table and talk to Unite.”
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