Binmen agree to strike over pay

PUBLISHED: 15:00 31 January 2015

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BINMEN in North Somerset have voted to go on strike over a pay dispute.

Members of the workers’ union GMB employed by Kier May Gurney on the refuse and recycling contract for North Somerset Council have voted to stage a walk-out.

More than 90 per cent voted for action in the ballot, which closed on Monday.

The union says a strike will have ‘a significant impact’ on North Somerset.

It will affect kerbside collection across North Somerset and in the household waste recycling centre in Weston.

Kier May Gurney pay review negotiations were due in April 2014 but were delayed. When the final pay offer was put to workers this year they rejected it.

GMB’s regional officer Adi Baker said: “If there is no movement industrial action is inevitable which will have a significant impact on the residents of North Somerset. I hope the company will take steps to avert this.”

A Kier spokesman said: “We have been in active discussions with our employees and the GMB since April 2014 to try to reach a resolution, and have made repeated offers as part of that process.

“Most recently, we made an increased offer ranging from 1.3 per cent to 1.8 per cent, which was in line with the original guidance given by the GMB.

“We are disappointed to hear that 29 GMB members have voted for strike action out of our 173-strong workforce at North Somerset, because we have listened to our employees, have been keen to engage with the GMB to reach a solution, and have made, what we believe, is a fair and workable offer.

“We remain in active dialogue with the GMB and are fully committed to ongoing negotiations.

“If the GMB choose not to continue with negotiations and formally notify us of industrial action, we have a full contingency plan to maintain continuity of service for the communities we serve.”

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