Tag Archives: refuse workers

Refuse and Waste Management Workers vote to resume strike action

Fleet + Waste Management members meeting today voted overwhelmingly to reject management’s offer and to resume strike action.

This shows the determination amongst the refuse workers to prevent their pay being cut by up to £4,000/pa.

It is not yet known exactly when or how long strikes will be held for.


Birmingham Post has now reported on this


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Refuse Worker Strike Suspended

We have been told that the Refuse Worker strikes scheduled for tomorrow and friday have been suspended following talks with the council this evening.

We hope that this signals the start of a climbdown by the council and a removal of the threat of £4,000 pay cuts for the refuse workers.

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Refuse Worker Picket Details

Refuse Collectors have half day strikes on 13th&14th Jan (tomorrow and Friday)

Pickets from 10:30am at Tameside Drive, Castle Bromwich, B35 7AG; Lifford Lane, Kings Norton, B30 3JJ; Holford Drive, Perry Barr, B42 2TU; Norris Way, Sutton Coldfield, B75 7BB; James Road, Tyseley, B11 2BA

Go along and show your support and solidarity for the workers facing £4,000 pay cuts, and threats of pay being docked despite the fact that the work to rule action they are taking was legally balloted with overwhelming support for taking industrial action.

It is really important that refuse workers know that we support their struggle.

Remember that there is also a Solidarity Protest tonight in the city centre from 5:30pm, called by Right to Work

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Birmingham binman says pay cuts has cost him his house

Birmingham post today reports:

Birmingham binman says pay cuts has cost him his house


A BIRMINGHAM binman has lifted the lid on being forced to leave his dream house after seeing s400 cut from his pay packet under the current council dispute.

John, a binman loader of five years, based at Lifford Lane, claims he is now sharing a room with his wife and one-year-old son at his mothers house as a direct result of the pay cut imposed by the council two months ago and that is why he is taking the industrial action.


This article shows the human cost of the cuts.  We should support the refuse workers in their industrial action.

Remember tomorrow: Solidarity protest at the Council House from 5:30pm.


With thanks to No to Cuts in Birmingham Council Jobs and Services for bringing this story to our attention

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Salma Yaqoob on the Refuse Worker Strike

Council to blame for rubbish pile-up

Salma Yaqoob, Respect councillor for Sparkbrook ward speaks about the Refuse Worker strike, placing the blame for the rubbish pile up squarely at the door of the council who are seeking to implement £4,000 pay cuts

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Right to Work Refuse Worker Solidarity Protest

West Midlands Right To Work
Support the Birmingham Refuse Workers
Protest: Wednesday 12th January, 5:30pm
Front of Council House,
Victoria Square.

Dear friend,

Birmingham City Council (BCC) has escalated it’s attack on local refuse workers. BCC have stated that they will reduce payment by 20% for all employees who refused to carry out “reasonable instruction” in December. These instructions were to pick up refuse left out on the day of the strike and is not on a usual route. Quite rightly workers refused to service this waste.

BCC have also stated that they will now check the tonnage of waste collected every day. They have worked out an “average daily tonnage” and have stated:

“Where it is evident that a crew have not performed to a reasonable standard in that the tonnage collected on a particular round on a particular day is less than the average that would normally be collected on that round on that day, then a proportionate deduction from salary will be made. For example, if the average tonnage collected on a particular round on a particular day is 20 tonnes, and the crew working on that round collect only 10 tonnes, then a 50% deduction in pay for that day will be made. These deductions shall be taken from February salaries and monthly thereafter, whenever duties are not performed in full.”

BCC have also withdrawn all facility time from union reps.

This is a a big escalation by BCC and comes on the same day that the unions have called more strike dates. Those strike dates will be Thursday 13th Jan and Friday 14th Jan. The strike will start at 10:34am until 12 midnight on each day. Pickets will form up at each depot from 10:34am. With the work to rule still ongoing, these strikes will once again impact across the city.

It is vital that we build solidarity for the refuse workers.

Right to Work is calling a solidarity protest for the Refuse workers on Wednesday 12th Jan. We are calling on all Right To Work supporters, Trade unionists, community campaigners, anyone who supports the refuse workers to assemble on the front of Birmingham Council House, Victoria Square at 5:30pm.

West Midlands Right To Work
Support the Birmingham Refuse Workers
Protest: Wednesday 12th January, 5:30pm
Front of Council House,
Victoria Square.

We have produced a Right To Work window posters and a RTW solidarity/Collection sign up sheet for people to use in their work places or on their streets.

In Solidarity

Right to Work are one of Birmingham Against the Cuts supporters, and you can find a link to their website on our “supporters” page.  If you want to subscribe to their mailing list, email rightrowork.wm@gmail.com

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New dates announced for Refuse Worker strikes

Unison have announced two half day strikes for refuse workers on January 13th and 14th.

The ongoing backlog of rubbish from the strikes continues to generate press coverage and readers responses.

Birmingham Mail today carried two articles:

New bin strikes announced in Birmingham

Residents despair at city bin bag mountain – front page, single column and full page article page 3 – unfortunately I can’t find this online.

There were also many letters in today’s Mail, some supportive, some not.

Feel free to add your own voice by emailing letters@birminghammail.net


Birmingham Against the Cuts fully supports the strike action by Refuse Workers from Unison, GMB, UCATT and Unite.


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Morning Star: Birmingham boosts workers’ fightback

Birmingham boosts workers’ fightback


Britain’s industrial fightback against the government austerity drive will receive a huge boost today as Birmingham’s council workers take to the streets in protest against cuts.

Workers at Birmingham Connexions service, which assists the young and vulnerable to access, work and training opportunities, will demonstrate outside the company’s HQ tomorrow at 12.30pm.


Come an join the Connexions workers tomorrow, 12:30 at Northfield and Broad Street offices, followed by a rally at BMI on Margaret Street at 2:45pm

See the upcoming actions page for more information

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Birmingham Mail articles 30/12

Two articles online at Birmingham Mail today about the refuse workers strike:

Birmingham City Council blames bins backlog on triple whammy

A TRIPLE whammy of strike action, snow and the regular Christmas increase in waste food and packaging has left Birmingham’s refuse collection service overwhelmed and piles of black bags in the streets


Birmingham binmen strike: Readers have their say

A mixture of supportive and not so supportive letters from Mail readers, and I would imagine letters will continue to come into the newspaper about the strike and it’s aftermath.

letters@birminghammail.net is their email address.

The local media coverage of the strike shows that it is having a noticeable effect.  In the first article, Kevin Mitchell – Assistant director of fleet and waste management – said

he recognised that the unions, Unite, GMB, Unison and UCATT, had timed their industrial action to perfection and caused maximum disruption to the service.

“The unions’ action was strategically spot on,” he said.

We hope the strike and work to rule actions prove as effective in ensuring the council meet the unions demands as they have been in generating local news coverage.

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Birmingham Refuse Collectors and Street Cleaners Fight Cuts in Pay

Fleet and Waste Management Strike

Over 400 Birmingham refuse collectors and street cleaners took a one day strike action on Monday 20th December in a dispute over pay cuts which could lead to up to £4,000 a year in lost pay. Members of three trade unions, Unite, UNISON and GMB, were solidly on strike, with little passing through the picket lines at half a dozen depots around the city.

Picket lines started as early as 4 am in the morning in temperatures which fell to minus 10 degrees, in the snow choked city. As many as thirty to fifty maintained the picket lines outside the main depots throughout the morning.

Crews also started a ‘work-to-rule’ from the following day. Management are attempting to break the strike through recruiting inexperienced, untrained casual workers. Union members are furious and determined to win this dispute.

The action by Fleet and Waste Management members has been well timed, with an expected 30% increase in refuse left by households over the Christmas and New Year period. Already Birmingham is being called the Black Bag City as rubbish piles up. This gives us no pleasure or satisfaction but our F&WM members have been given no choice but to fight to stop these pay reductions. Refuse collectors and street cleaners take pride in their contribution to making Birmingham a clean city.

Talks have taken place with the unions and the council for well over a year but no acceptable offer has been made by management. The new contracts with pay cuts were imposed in November 2010 and the last pay packets before Christmas saw major reductions in pay for many.

Stewards and union officials will be meeting shortly to discuss the next steps. Management need to fully appreciate the strength of feeling of our members and bring to the table proposals for settling this dispute.

The city council is also proposing to reduce the pay of another 8,000+ staff by removing additional pay for working weekends and shifts, amongst many other local allowances. This could mean up to a third of the earnings of low paid carers, cleaners, cooks and many others.

Report from Graeme Horn, Joint Branch Secretary, UNISON Birmingham Branch

Photographs from Graeme Horn and Right to Work

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