Council hits back at Sheffield dump-site strikers

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CITY bosses responsible for Sheffield’s waste services insist they have tried everything they can to persuade recycling workers not to go out on strike again next week.

Workers at Sheffield’s household recycling centres are set to down tools next Friday over reduced opening hours.

The members of the GMB union previously walked out for 28 days over a plan to axe jobs and cutback working hours by 20 per cent.

That action was suspended last month when a deal was done with Sheffield Council and waste contractors Sova Recycling and Veolia - but the union now intends to resume strikes from August 31.

Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for recycling, said: “We have worked with the employers at the sites, Sova Recycling, and with Veolia Environmental Services and we are continuing to try to find a solution to this dispute by talking to the union representatives.

“We have made a number of improvements to the service over the last few months that we thought would help to resolve this problem.

“However, the basic problem is that Sheffield is facing massive government cuts.

“Of course, if there was an alternative to making this cut, we would take it, but the reality is that this is the consequence of such massive cuts.”

He added: “We will put in place contingency plans to provide a service to the people of Sheffield similar to those used during the previous strike and we will be able to announce these next Wednesday.

“I am very sorry for the inconvenience that this strike may cause.”

GMB convener John Stephenson told The Star on Wednesday that the strike could last ‘longer than a week’.

“It’s going to be an ongoing thing,” he said.