Strike action in the refuse collection dispute affecting the Wirral is set to escalate
Over 200 members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by Biffa, on the outsourced Wirral council contract, are set to escalate strike action due to the company’s failure to make a fair pay offer. 
The workers will strike from Wednesday 28 December to Saturday 31 December, Tuesday 3 January to Saturday 7 January and from Monday 16 January to Friday 21 January.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Biffa is a highly wealthy company and can fully afford to offer its workers a decent pay rise. It is greed not need which is preventing it from doing so.
“Biffa and Wirral council need to stop prevaricating and make a fair pay offer that meets our members’ expectations.”
The workers are making a stand to end low pay rates: including HGV drivers being paid just £11.95 an hour, refuse operatives on £11.50 and street operatives on only £10.76. The workers are seeking a 15 per cent increase, fully backdated, to reset their pay rates and also tackle the cost of living crisis, where the real rate of inflation (RPI) currently stands at 14 per cent.
Biffa is a very wealthy company. This autumn it revealed in its annual report that it had record growth, with revenues increasing by 38.5 per cent.
Unite regional officer John McColl said: “The escalation of the dispute will lead to further disruption of refuse collections across the Wirral but this dispute is a direct result of Biffa’s stubborn refusal to pay its workers fairly.”
The escalating strike action on the Wirral will put additional strain on refuse and recycling services across Merseyside as Unite has a separate pay dispute at Veolia in the area.
Notes to editors:
Wirral facing Christmas bin strikes as Biffa workers demand end to low pay
 For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications officer Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235 or 0203 371 2067.
Email: [email protected]
Unite is the UK and Ireland’s leading union fighting to protect and advance jobs, pay and conditions for members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Sharon Graham.