The long running strike action involving refuse workers employed by Allerdale Waste Services, affecting Workington and the surrounding area, has ended after workers voted to accept an improved pay offer.

Extended strike action

The strike involving members of Unite, the UK’s leading union, began in April and the workers have been on all-out continuous strike since May.

Following negotiations, brokered by the conciliation service Acas, the loaders were offered an increase in pay from £10.90 an hour to £11.81 (8.3 per cent) while the drivers who are legally required to hold a HGV licence will see their pay increase from £11.99 an hour to £13.62 an hour (13.6 per cent.) The members were balloted on the offer and it was accepted.

Hard fought victory

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This was a hard fought and well-earned victory by our members who were determined to secure a decent pay increase. Once the employer understood that our members were not prepared to budge on their just demands, a settlement that met their expectations was agreed.”

“This result is further evidence of how Unite’s relentless focus on jobs, pay and conditions, and its total support for workers prepared to take industrial action, is delivering direct financial benefits.”

Improved conditions

As part of the agreement the workforce will see their working hours reduced to 37 hours a week, they will also receive a double time payment for working on bank holidays plus a day off in lieu. Further policies to improve the overall working environment will also be enacted.

The workers will return to work on Thursday 24 August.


Unite regional officer Ryan Armstrong said: “Special credit must go to Unite’s reps and members. Without their hard work and perseverance, this victory would not have been possible. Over the past nine days the dynamic of the negotiations has changed from a stalemate to a resolution which was acceptable to our members.”

“Unite will now be working to ensure that all elements of the agreement are fully and swiftly implemented.”

Deal  agreed

AWSL strike Committee said: “The members are happy we have come to a resolution in regard to pay and conditions and are looking forward to returning to the job they do best, serving the local residents.”

The GMB union were also involved in the dispute.


Notes to editors

For media enquiries ONLY please contact Unite senior communications advisor Barckley Sumner on 07802 329235.

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.