Household recycling centres three-day walkout

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Staff at Sheffield’s household waste recycling centres have voted for a three-day strike in protest at plans to cut opening days and jobs.

The changes are being proposed to save Sheffield Council £375,000 a year on the cost of operating the five centres at Beighton, Deepcar, Gleadless Valley, High Green and Shirecliffe.

But the GMB trade union, which represents staff, says the subcontractor paid for running the sites makes large sums from sale of materials, which should be sufficient to cover operating costs.

Otherwise, the union says users of the sites should be asked to pay a small charge, so they can all remain open seven days a week.

Members have voted to strike on May 26, 27 and 28.

The centres currently open daily from 9am to 6pm.

Under the proposed changes, each of the sites will be open for only four days a week, with opening days staggered so at least one site is open each day. The GMB fears at least 12 of the 46 staff could lose their jobs.

A Sheffield Council spokesman said: “Following the decision to reduce the opening hours across all the HWRCs, the staff at these sites have decided to take industrial action. We apologise for any disruption that this may cause to residents and we are working with our contractors Veolia Environmental Services and SOVA, and the trade unions to resolve this situation.

“Should the GMB take the decision to call a strike there is a contingency plan in place to minimise disruption. Further details will be communicated should any strike be confirmed.”

There is a meeting between management and the GMB on Tuesday to try to avert the strikes.