Bexley council, in South London, has been called on to sort out one of its contractors amid a bin strike ballot over pay and ‘appalling’ treatment by management.

Unite, the UK’s leading union, said that more than 100 of its members, employed by Countrystyle Recycling, which runs bin collections in the Bexley area, are being balloted for strike action over a two per cent pay offer. 

Unite described the offer as an ‘insulting pay cut’ and said the refuse workers are demanding a wage increase that reflects rocketing living costs. The real rate of inflation (RPI) stands at 11.1 per cent and rising. 

The union says that workers are also angry that management are keeping them at work up to two and half hours later than they need to be after a round is completed, which is a breach of contract. Unite’s members also report that CCTV monitoring is being used to unfairly target workers.

The ballot will close on 27 June, with any resultant strike action beginning in July.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Countrystyle Recycling’s conduct reflects badly on Bexley council. The council should not be sitting on its hands when workers providing its services are being refused a reasonable pay rise and treated appallingly.

“How can Unite accept an insulting wage offer which in reality is a massive pay cut? Our members have their union’s complete backing if they decide on strike action.”

Unite regional officer Tabusam Ahmed said: “Countrystyle Recycling’s treatment of this workforce is not acceptable. Management is forcing workers to stay on, unpaid, for two and a half hours after their shift has finished and their heavy-handed use of CCTV is a disgraceful attempt to intimidate our members. 

“This dispute can be ended before the need for strike action, but that will mean Countrystyle Recycling resolving these issues and putting forward a fair pay rise.” 


For media enquires ONLY contact Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215.

Email: [email protected]  

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