Strike action by recycling collectors at Kier Ltd in Bath and North East Somerset (BANES) will continue after members of Britain’s biggest union, Unite, reject the company’s latest paltry pay offer in an ongoing £2 an hour pay disparity dispute.
The workers, operating out of the Keynsham depot, voted overwhelmingly for strike action with 86 per cent in favour and 100 per cent in favour of action short of strike at the end of December 2015, over pay inequality which sees them being paid up to 25 per cent less than employees at the nearby Bristol site.
The Unite members rejected the company’s latest 3 per cent pay offer at a meeting held yesterday (Thursday 7 January) following make- or- break talks at the conciliation service, Acas.
In talks stretching back to September 2015, Unite has made clear throughout that it does not expect full parity in pay to be met at once, but would accept this being reached over this and the next two pay reviews.
Unite regional officer Jerry Pickford said: “The bottom line is that seven miles down the road employees are being paid up to 25 per cent more an hour to do the same job with loaders at the Keynsham depot earning less than the living wage, on just £7.81 an hour.
“The company’s continued refusal, despite repeated attempts, to take the concerns of its hardworking workforce seriously is the last straw.
“The people of Bath and North East Somerset need to know that Kier Ltd has been dragging its feet over this dispute for months now with no serious commitment to reaching an agreement. It is simply not acceptable that such a huge variation in pay is allowed to persist.
“Our members have been left with no option but to continue with the series of strikes and overtime ban. We urge Kier Ltd to stop dragging its feet and commit to resolving this dispute.”
Strike action will continue with a series of 48 hour stoppages starting at 00:01 on:
- Thursday 14 January and Friday 15 January 2016
- 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
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