Road workers out on strike over job cuts

Protest outside the Amey Olive Grove Depot. Picture: Andrew Roe
Protest outside the Amey Olive Grove Depot. Picture: Andrew Roe
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Sheffield road workers have gone on strike over planned job cuts and a pay dispute.

Members of the GMB union staged a 24-hour walk-out today in protest at issues relating to the running of the £2billion Sheffield Streets Ahead road improvement project, which is being delivered by Amey for Sheffield Council.

Protest outside the Amey Olive Grove Depot. Picture: Andrew Roe

Protest outside the Amey Olive Grove Depot. Picture: Andrew Roe

A picket line was set up outside the Olive Grove depot being used for the Streets Ahead project, with dozens of workers joining the protest.

They waved banners and flags as part of the demonstration.

Amey last month announced the start of a major redundancy programme for the Streets Ahead team that will take place over the course of the next year as the first phase of the 25-year contract comes to an end.

Sheffield Council workers promised a job for 25 years by Amey in 2012 are now among those facing redundancy.

Amey has announced 90 planned redundancies among its street lighting team that will take place by January, with further job cuts to follow among employees who are resurfacing roads and footpaths.

The number of job cuts in those departments is yet to be officially confirmed.

The GMB has also been involved in a pay dispute with Amey and has also raised concerns about the number of external contractors being used on the project, employing people from outside Sheffield.

A spokeswoman for Amey said it was hoped a resolution could soon be reached in the dispute.

“We can confirm that we have been in discussions with the GMB union about pay negotiation rights and the use of sub-contractors,” she said.

“We are doing our utmost to resolve this as soon as possible.

“Discussions will continue with GMB union officials to come to a satisfactory agreement. We can confirm that there will be no impact or disruption to members of the public during this time.”

Lee Parkison, GMB regional organiser, said: “The strike was over two issues.

“First, we can’t negotiate pay locally on the Sheffield contract. The second part is the redundancies they are making.”

Mr Parkison said he hoped negotiations could restart.

“We are willing to come back to the table. We have never walked away.

“We want to resolve this.”