Unite press release

For immediate release: Wednesday 14 September 2022

Newham bin workers announce two more weeks of strike action

Workers “rubbish” the Mayor’s misleading pay claims

Unite has issued Newham borough council with notice of a further two weeks of strike action starting on Tuesday 20 September, ending Monday 3 October. The 1st phase of action began on Saturday 27 August and ended on Saturday 3 September.

The refuse collectors have “rubbished” Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz’s preposterous claims that the workers have been offered a pay deal of up to 17.9 per cent by the council. Unite says the misleading claims posted on the council website do Newham residents and the workers a disservice (see notes to editors).

The council’s offer is worth a “measly” £950 - only if workers work every bank holiday week. In reality, Bosses in Newham have offered zero per cent on workers’ basic pay. (see notes to editors)

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “The borough needs to stop peddling misinformation and get on with the job of negotiating an end to the strike. Obviously the workers would not be on strike if these claims about huge pay rises were real.

“The workers are now prepared to take strike action for a further two weeks. They have Unite’s complete support. Newham council must realise that game playing won’t end the dispute.”

130 loaders and drivers employed by the London Borough of Newham are taking strike action. Pickets will be in place between 5.30am – 2pm each day of the strike at Central Depot, Folkstone Road, London, E6 6BX.

Unite regional officer Steve Edwards said: “The council’s claim that these workers have been offered a deal worth up to 17.9 per cent is absolute rubbish. In reality the council has offered no new money to increase the workers’ basic pay – that’s why there’s a strike.

“So, it’s time the council got serious about negotiating a deal because the workers are standing firm.”


Notes to editors

In a statement on Newham council’s website Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz wrongly claimed workers had been offered between 13.8 and 17.9 per cent.

1. This includes a national pay offer for all local authority workers which has not even been agreed. The national pay negotiations do not address how workers in Newham are paid almost £2000 less than workers in Greenwich and Hackney doing the same job.

2. The council included a retention payment which workers already receive each year and is not being increased.

3. The council also included overtime payments which are not guaranteed. Workers would have to work every bank holiday, not be off sick or on leave on a single bank holiday.

Contact: Ciaran Naidoo on 07768 931 315
Twitter: @unitetheunion Facebook: unitetheunion1 Instagram: unitetheunion Web: unitetheunion.org
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.