Nearly 40 Urbaser refuse workers to walkout in June, July and August over poverty wages

Nearly 40 outsourced refuse workers in Selby, employed by waste company Urbaser on behalf of the North Yorkshire unitary authority, will strike during the summer over ‘rubbish pay’. 

The dispute is a result of the workers rejecting an eight per cent pay offer because they are on some of the lowest rates in the country for their roles. Bin loaders and grounds workers are paid just £10.64 an hour and refuse lorry drivers, who require an HGV license, are paid just £12.51 an hour.

The workers have also been offered a bonus, but they are angry it is less than the cost-of-living payment provided to refuse workers employed in other areas of the newly formed (Conservative controlled) North Yorkshire unitary authority.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “It is unbelievable that Urbaser thinks it can get away with paying its workers such astonishingly low wages. North Yorkshire council should not be allowing such exploitative pay for work that is by its nature dirty, heavy and unpleasant. Unite is absolutely focused on defending and improving our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and Urbaser’s Selby workforce will receive the union’s unflinching support.”

The strikes will impact bin collection, street cleaning and road sweeping services in Selby on 27 and 30 June and 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21, 25 and 28 July and 4, 8, and 11 August. Strike action will intensify if the dispute is not resolved.

Unite regional coordinating officer Richard Bedford said: “Our members do not want to strike but have been left with no choice because of the rubbish pay, which is amongst the lowest in the country. The disruption that will be caused to the public is entirely the fault of Ubraser and North Yorkshire council, which needs to pressure the company into tabling an offer our members can accept.” 

Over 60 workers employed by Urbaser on the outsourced refuse collection and street cleansing service for Welwyn and Hatfield council are also taking strike action over pay.


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

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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.