Council bosses urged to intervene over Sheffield waste recycling centre strikes

Strike action outside the Veolia recycling plant on Blackstock Road, Sheffield.
Strike action outside the Veolia recycling plant on Blackstock Road, Sheffield.
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Council bosses have been urged to intervene in an increasingly bitter strike at Sheffield’s household waste recycling centres.

Members of the GMB union have been on a continuous strike since last Saturday following several one-day walkouts last month.

The dispute is over pay, conditions and allegations of ‘bullying’ at the five centres, run by The Green Company on behalf of Sheffield Council and waste contractor Veolia.

Tim Roache, regional secretary for GMB Yorkshire and North Derbyshire, joined about 20 workers picketing the waste facility at Blackstock Road, Gleadless Valley, yesterday.

Other centres affected by walkouts are in Woodhouse, Deepcar, High Green and Shirecliffe.

Peter Davies, GMB organiser, said union officials are asking the authority and Veolia to intervene in the dispute. Both the council and Veolia have said they want to ‘encourage both sides to engage in talks again’.

Mr Davies said workers who had been involved in some of the one-day walkouts last month had been ‘singled out’ by company bosses.

“When they tried the initial strikes, they were being singled out one by one. All of them were pulled into meetings and told not to strike,” he said.

“We are asking for the bullying to stop and to talk to us about pay.”

He said a skeleton staff of non-union members and additional workers brought in by management are running the sites while the dispute goes on.

A statement from Sheffield Council and Veolia said: “We all want this strike to be resolved as quickly as possible, to minimise disruption to the public and to enable people to get back to their jobs.

“This can only happen if those concerned are around the table trying to find a resolution.”