Striking binmen seek 13 per cent pay rise

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Residents in part of South Yorkshire are facing six days of bin strikes due to a row in which dustmen are demanding a 13 per cent pay rise.

Binmen in Doncaster will be on strike on Friday and Monday, and then again on the two following Fridays and Mondays.

Binmen are unhappy at being paid £1 an hour less than contractor SITA pays its staff in Kirklees.

Bosses at SITA say they will do all they can to minimise disruption and claim the pay demand is too much.

The company is advising households there will be some disruption to waste and recycling collection services between Friday, September 21, and Monday, October 15.

Chris Weldon, regional officer for Unite, which represents binmen, said: “Members feel they are no different from refuse collectors in Kirklees.

“Our colleagues there are getting £1 an hour more than they are in Doncaster for the same job and we have asked for parity.”

Nick Browning, SITA UK general manager, said: “The union has asked for an average pay increase of 13 per cent, but in the current economic climate, we cannot justify increasing the offer of 1.7 per cent we have made nationally to all of our employees, particularly when our colleagues in Doncaster already benefit from good terms and conditions following pay increases of 2.5 per cent in 2010 and 3 per cent in 2011.

“We think the union’s demands for more is unreasonable and it would be irresponsible for us to increase our offer.”

Gill Gillies, Doncaster Council assistant director of environment, said: “We are working closely with SITA to minimise disruption.”