Sheffield binmen 3-day strike looms

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BINMEN in Sheffield have voted for three days of strike action on April 13, 20 and 27.

Meanwhile, rubbish bins and recycling boxes have gone unemptied as binmen staged a work-to-rule over pay.

The GMB union, which represents 200 binmen, is furious members have not received a pay rise for two years, despite Veolia – the council’s waste recycling contractors – receiving an inflationary increase in their fee from the city council.

Yesterday staff followed a strict work-to-rule policy, with some bins left unemptied as a result.

A Veolia spokeswoman said: “Ongoing discussions with our workforce regarding their terms and conditions have regrettably led to a disruption in services and some bins and boxes have not been emptied.

“We are sorry for this disruption and for any inconvenience caused.

“We would like to assure residents that contingency plans are in place to make sure than bins and boxes are emptied as quickly as possible.”

Peter Davies, Sheffield organiser for the GMB union, said members had voted this week to take strike action, with an ‘overwhelming majority’ in favour.

He added: “Our members are also appalled at the company’s decision to challenge the validity of their original industrial action ballot.

“At the end of the day it is they that deliver this excellent service day in, day out.

“Our reps and I have agreed to meet with the company on Thursday along with ACAS to try to resolve this dispute and we can assure the people of Sheffield we are fully committed to achieving that.”

Residents said bins were not collected in a number of areas. They have been advised to put them out again today.

Samantha Dale said on Facebook: “No black bins emptied in my or surrounding roads today.”

And Andrew Hill added on Twitter: “Not emptied in S11.”

Rebecca Sanderson said on Twitter: “S12 not emptied.”

A senior Sheffield Council source told The Star: “Staff have decided to follow a work-to-rule plan, and are going to be less flexible about working overtime.

“It is up to Veolia to deal with the situation.

“If bins have not been emptied they will have to collect them later.”

A Veolia spokeswoman said collections scheduled today should take place, but may be later than normal.

She added: “If your container is not emptied on Wednesday please visit www.veolia.co.uk/sheffield or call 0114 273 4567 for an update on our services.”

n Binmen are also facing up to 40 job losses due to black bin collections being cut from weekly to fortnightly.