Suez bin workers begin indefinite all out strike action over ‘pay cut’ by company making tens of millions 

Strikes by around 150 workers employed by Suez emptying bins on behalf of South Gloucestershire council has intensified and are now set to last every day until September.  

The workers began strike action earlier this month after rejecting an eight per cent pay offer from the company which, according to its latest UK financial returns, brought in profits of £80.8 million in 2021. With the real rate of inflation, RPI, at 11.3 per cent, this is a significant real terms pay cut. 

The company’s South Gloucestershire bin loaders earn just £11.53 per hour. 

The decision to intensify industrial action was taken after both Suez and South Gloucestershire Council ignored repeated requests by Unite to engage in talks to resolve the dispute.   

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Despite Suez’s claims about generous pay offers, its workers are on very low wages even though the work they do is heavy, difficult and dirty. It is a highly profitable company making tens of millions and can afford to give its struggling staff a reasonable wage increase.

“Unite never backs down from defending our members’ jobs, pay and conditions and Suez’s South Gloucestershire workforce have their union’s full support as they fight for fair pay.”

The workers took strike action from 12 June until 18 June. Strike action beginning this week and scheduled to last until 9 July has now been extended to last every day until 3 September

Unite regional officer Ken Fish said: “Unite has repeatedly tried to initiate negotiations with Suez and South Gloucestershire council to bring this dispute to an end. It is a dereliction of duty to the public on the part of both organisations that these requests for talks have been ignored. 

“Our members don’t want to strike, but their determination to ensure a fair pay deal is rock solid. Industrial action will continue until Suez puts an acceptable offer to our members. It is time the council intervened and told the company to do so.”


For media enquires ONLY contact senior Unite communications officer Ryan Fletcher on 07849 090215 or 020 3371 2065.

Email: [email protected]

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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.