Recycling centre workers call off strike

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Workers at recycling centres owned by Sheffield Council have called off strike action which they had planned for the post-Christmas period.

Staff who work for a sub-contractor which runs the sites fear a third of them will lose their jobs if opening hours are cut to save money.

The council and the city’s waste disposal contractor Veolia have now made a revised offer to GMB officials, and staff will enter into a further three months of negotiations on the changes.

Employees had initially planned to walk out indefinitely from December 27, leaving households with nowhere to take their festive waste.

The council wants to cut the opening hours at the sites to save £500,000, putting jobs under threat.

Deputy council leader Coun Bryan Lodge welcomed the decision to call off the strike.

“We are pleased that there has been a resolution of this dispute,” he said.

The GMB is arguing the council, Veolia and subcontractor which runs the sites have failed to consider alternative ways of reducing costs.

It also says Veolia charges the council more than what it pays its subcontractor to run the sites.

Councillors will decide on the future of the service at a meeting next month.

Veolia said a ‘market testing exercise’ of the household waste recycling centres had found the council was getting ‘good value for money’.