Refuse collection workers in Bromley and Croydon, due to strike next week over a paltry pay offer, have put their action ‘on hold’, while talks are held under the auspices of Acas, the conciliation service.
The workers, members of Unite, the country’s largest union, were due to strike on Tuesday 2 July, Wednesday 3 July and Thursday 4 July, but these strikes are now ‘on hold’.
This follows an offer from the employer, the highly profitable French company Veolia, to go to Acas.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “We are prepared to negotiate in good faith and use this window of opportunity constructively, but if no settlement is reached, strike action will happen very quickly - the strike is only put on hold for 21 days.
“Support for strike action has grown. A meeting in Croydon was attended by nearly 100 workers; new application forms to join the union were handed in; and volunteers came forward to fill vacant steward positions. Our aim is to win fair pay for our members.”
Originally, Veolia offered two per cent and this was rejected by the workers who are seeking a rise in line with the current retail price index (RPI) of 3.1 per cent.
Unite, representing 126 refuse collectors in Bromley and more than 100 in Croydon, has said that this offer was pathetic and in stark contrast to the 20 per cent increase in profits reported by Veolia.
The accounts of Veolia Environmental Services UK plc reported that the group operating profit for year ending December 2011 was £121 million.
For further information please contact Onay Kasab on 07771 818637 and/or Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 07768 693940
- Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.