Mediation plea to break waste dispute deadlock

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THE trade union boss representing Sheffield’s striking waste recycling centre workers has called for talks with mediators to resolve a dispute over cuts to opening hours and jobs.

Peter Davies, GMB regional organiser, has asked ACAS to arrange a meeting involving the union, Sheffield Council, contractor Veolia and sub-contractor Sova.

Workers at the five sites - Deepcar, Gleadless Valley, High Green, Shirecliffe and Woodhouse - have been on strike for three days from Saturday to Monday and walking out again from tomorrow until Friday.

The dispute is over reduced opening hours which mean five of 46 staff at the sites losing their jobs.

Mr Davies said: “I have stated to ACAS that without movement and compromise there can be no resolution.”

Coun Jack Scott, council cabinet member for environment, said the council, Veolia and Sova had already held meetings with the GMB and made concessions.

These have included the number of redundancies being scaled down from nine to five, and the recycling centres opening longer than was originally proposed.

Coun Scott did not say whether he would be willing to attend talks via Acas but said: “We want to see an end to this action as soon as possible. I understand the strength of feeling from the staff at the recycling centres.

“We will continue to talk, but because of the massive cuts to Sheffield, there is no alternative.”