Unite press release

For immediate release:  Friday 27 May 2022

Pay victory for Unite refuse collectors & street cleaners in Rugby who took strike action

Bin collections and street cleaning in Rugby will restart next Tuesday (31 May) after the workers who took strike action won significant pay increases. The members of Unite have been on strike since 26 April and are now due pay increases of up to 12 per cent.  

The street cleansers, HGV lorry drivers and loaders took action to demand a significant pay increase as spiralling price rises meant workers were struggling to afford the basics. The council had claimed they were bound by a nationally agreed local authority pay deal, however as soon as the workers withdrew their labour the Tory controlled council set about negotiating a solution to address poverty pay with Unite.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Workers in Rugby were not prepared to accept poverty pay. With the support of Unite they took matters into their own hands. The result is a significant improvement to their pay and conditions. Our union is prepared to fight for workers during the cost of living crisis. It’s more proof that Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members.

Unite regional officer Zoe Mayou said: “The street cleaners, HGV lorry drivers and loaders showed courage by choosing to take strike action. I’m very pleased that their bravery has paid off. Unite has hammered out an agreement with Rugby Borough Council so bin collections and street cleaning can restart from next Tuesday.

Onay Kasab, Unite national lead officer: “This dispute was significant because it arose from a new strategy of bringing workers from the same industrial sector together into a Combine. The workers from Rugby could coordinate and share information with workers from other councils like Coventry and Plymouth. It became clear that they were being underpaid. With the support of Unite this inspired them to demand a fair deal for their hard work.”

Unite is dedicated to advancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and will fight back against any efforts to diminish workers' living standards.


Notes to editors:

Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315 

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