Unite members, employed by the UK’s leading waste management provider, Veolia Environmental Services UK Ltd, at the Ditton Road site in Widnes, Cheshire are set to ballot for strike action following a long running dispute over unpaid shifts.

Workers at the Widnes site are employed on a contract of any five shifts from seven. However, drivers are not being paid if they work a sixth shift in a seven day period.

Following numerous meetings between Veolia management and Unite, the company has failed to offer a suitable payment to reflect the amount of hours being worked by Unite members.Unite has made every attempt to resolve

this dispute including meetings under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas, but has grown frustrated with a refusal by company bosses to seriously address workers’ concerns over unpaid shifts.

The strike ballot, over the requirement of workers to work a sixth day in a seven day period, opens on Thursday 8 November and closes on Monday 19 November.

Unite regional officer Steven Gerrard said: “Unite has put forward numerous proposals to the company, including an option to give our members the time off in lieu of hours worked, but the company has refused this.
“This situation simply cannot continue. Our members have had enough of working for free.

“While many workers have to do extra unpaid hours, the company’s latest accounts show it has made pre-tax profits of £79m, yet it is reluctant to share its success with the workers and resolve this dispute.

“Unite urges Veolia management to come up with an acceptable proposal, if we are to avoid our members taking strike action.”

Unite is committed to doing all within its power to resolve this dispute and will remain open to negotiations up to and beyond the ballot of its members.


For more information please contact Unite regional officer Steven Gerrard on 07798 531 015 or Alex Flynn Unite head of media and campaigns on 020 3371 2066 or 07967 665869 

Notes to editors:

Key figures from Veolia Environmental Services (UK) PLC Accounts 12/2017 read as follows:

  1. Turnover £1.5bn with a pre-tax profit of £79m
  2. Figures also show Turnover per employee to be in the sum of £121,754
  3. The profit margin from Veolia Environmental Services (UK) PLC Accounts 12/2017 show a percentage change from the previous year of 5.19%
  4. The pre-tax profit from 2016 shows an increase from £1m to £79m a percentage rise of 5,349.2%
  • Unite represents workers in Britain and Ireland with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.