Unite can confirm today (24 March) that more than 50 members working for Veolia Water across Edinburgh and the Lothians are set to take strike action in a dispute over pay.

The strike action, involving plant operatives, electrical maintenance, mechanical, and administrative staff, was supported overwhelmingly by 94 per cent of Unite’s members in a ballot turnout of 83 per cent.

The Veolia workers are demanding a significantly improved pay offer from the company.  With the more realistic cost of living (RPI) currently running at 8.2 per cent per cent, Veolia’s offer of 2.6 per cent for this year is a pay cut.

Strike action will take place from 7-13 April, and then continuous strike action from 21 April.

Veolia Water provides and maintains wastewater treatment facilities across Edinburgh and the Lothians including Almond Valley, East Calder, Newbridge Whitburn, and Blackburn.

Veolia is responsible in total for the operation of 15 sites including five treatment works, 11 storm water sites, one trunk sewer, one pumping station, three combined heat (CHP) and power plants, and two advanced digestion plants.

According to Companies House, Veolia Water increased its profits after tax to £11.6m for the year ending December 2020 up from £7.3m the previous year.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Veolia Water makes millions out of UK customers so it can well afford to make an acceptable pay offer to our members working across Edinburgh and the Lothians. The current pay offer on the table is completely unacceptable. We urge the company to get back round the negotiating table or industrial action will follow. Our members have Unite’s full support in this fight for better jobs, pay and conditions.”

Pat Egan, Unite industrial officer, added: “Veolia workers deserve a significantly improved offer than the insulting 2.6 per cent currently on the table which is a real terms pay cut. The company has an opportunity to re-engage with us in meaningful talks or strike action is on the immediate horizon.”


Notes to Editor:

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