Pickets target Doncaster bin lorry depots as strike starts

Strike line: Members of Unite outside the Whittington Street depot, where Doncaster's bin lorries are based.  PICTURE: STEVE TAYLOR.
Strike line: Members of Unite outside the Whittington Street depot, where Doncaster's bin lorries are based. PICTURE: STEVE TAYLOR.
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REFUSE collectors turned out to picket Doncaster’s bin lorry depots as refuse workers walked out on strike.

Dozens of striking staff from the union Unite, many carrying banners and flags, blocked the entrance to the Whittington Street depot as bosses at Sita struggled to get black bins emptied.

Strikers shouted ‘turn it back’ as a lorry tried to get out of the depot.

Pickets said one lorry had managed to leave the premises earlier in the day.

They said they believed some trucks had also left the site through a maintenance depot on Shaw Lane

At one stage, three police cars arrived because of the number of people at the scene.

But the officers left after speaking to union officials to find out how long they would be there.

A police spokesman said they visited the demonstration to check on public safety, but had not been called by any members of the public or businesses.

The staff are on strike because they are unhappy Sita’s binmen working in Kirklees are paid £1 an hour more staff in Doncaster.

Sita says the union’s pay claim for a 13 per cent increase is too much and it cannot justify a rise of more than 1.7 per cent in the current climate.

The company confirmed it had managed to get some of its lorries out of the site and said that green box collections had also taken place. But it said it had decided against trying to make planned collections.

Gill Gillies, Doncaster Council’s assistant director of environment said: “We continue to work closely with the management team at Sita to minimise disruptions to residents resulting from the industrial action being taken by some Sita staff.

“Every attempt is being made to empty black bins on their usual collection day or as soon as possible afterwards and we thank residents for their patience during this dispute.

“There will be no collections this weekend, so any resident whose black bin was not emptied by the end of Friday is advised to bring it in over the weekend and put it back out on Monday.”

The workers are striking again on Monday.

See thestar.co.uk/video for an interview with Unite’s Chris Daly.