Members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, employed by Newham council are currently being balloted for industrial action in a dispute over pay and conditions.

The ballot is ongoing and closes on Wednesday 3 August. If the approximately 100 strong workforce opts for industrial action then strikes could begin next month.

Vital role

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: Newhams refuse workers play a vital role in delivering waste services. Despite this, their current pay means they are struggling to make ends meet.

 Unite always makes the jobs, pay and conditions of its members’ its key priority and it will be providing our workers in Newham with its total support until this dispute is settled.”

Low pay rates

The workers, who are on pay rates as low as £22,780 a year, are seeking a retention payment to offset the cost of living crisis.

In addition, they are seeking to be paid an improved rate of overtime and are demanding that they are paid sick pay on a Saturday, prior to a bank holiday when they are contracted to work, but are unable to do so due to illness.

Council failure

Unite regional officer Steve Edwards said: “Residents of Newham will be concerned about the threat of a bin strike, but this dispute is entirely of the councils own making. The council has failed to address Unites concerns despite extensive negotiations being held.

 Strike action can still be avoided by Newham council returning to the negotiating table and making an offer which addresses our members’ issues, the ball is now firmly in the councils court.


Notes to editors:

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.