Recycling staff striking ‘against union’s advice’

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RECYCLING centre workers are pressing ahead with fresh strikes - despite the walkout being against the advice of their own trade union.

The Star can reveal the GMB union, which represents staff at the centres in Deepcar, Gleadless Valley, High Green, Shirecliffe and Woodhouse, urged workers to accept proposed new pay and conditions.

Contractor Sova, which runs the five sites, has proposed that workers receive pay of just more than £7 per hour, above the minimum wage of £6.08.

They would also qualify for bonuses worth up to an additional £2 per hour.

Staff are also set to be paid for a 29-hour week all year round, averaging out their working weeks of 22 hours in the winter and 35 in summer.

The different opening hours operate for six months of the year at a time.

A source told The Star that about 30 workers affected, most were willing to accept the proposals.

Recycling centre staff are to walk out on Saturday and Sunday in protest at the changes to their terms and conditions.

Workers previously went out on strike over the reduction in opening hours from seven days a week at all sites to more limited hours.

Coun Jack Scott, Sheffield Council cabinet member for environment and transport, said: “It is unfortunate action is once again being taken by staff at the recycling centres.”

Peter Davies, the GMB union’s regional organiser, was unavailable for comment.

A spokeswoman for Sova, based on Moore Street, Sheffield city centre, said: “We cannot comment on the strike vote or circumstances surrounding it.

“However, we believe there are certain employees who want to continue working.

“We would urge those staff to make their feelings about the matter known to colleagues within their trade union before the weekend.”