Waste collection workers for Bexley London borough council have won guaranteed sick pay from their employer Serco after a series of protests and strike action.

Last week, 150 workers employed by Serco, which provides refuse services to Bexley council, took strike action in a dispute over the absence of proper sick pay, low pay and management bullying.

Rock solid strike action forced Serco and Bexley council to concede full sick pay for those isolating after potentially being exposed to coronavirus. Unite has now agreed to postpone further action in the interests of the residents of Bexley during this unprecedented period but the issues of low pay and longer term guarantees on sick pay remain unresolved.

Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon said: “Bexley refuse workers do an incredibly important job keeping the borough clean but they had no sick pay provision whilst handling rubbish during the current coronavirus outbreak.

“By standing firm and taking rock solid action the workforce, backed by Unite, secured sick pay guarantees. In the interests of Bexley’s residents the workers have returned to work and postponed further action but the issue of low pay remains unresolved.

"The workers’ solidarity alongside the backing of Britain and Ireland’s biggest union shows just how important it is to have the backing of Unite during these unprecedented and uncertain times.”


Notes to editors:

For more about Unite's work during the coronavirus crisis to keep workers and the public safe, and to protect jobs and incomes, click here.

Unite is a union that campaigns for and delivers better pay and conditions for its members. Unite is winning at work based on three core values: Secure Work - fighting for jobs and job security; Strong Voice - a union which is a respected voice at work; and Decent Pay - a union focused on pay and conditions.

For more information contact Ciaran Naidoo 07768 931 315

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.