Sandwell bin workers strike for fourth day in bullying and working conditions row

Refuse workers in Sandwell have been out on strike ahead of crunch talks with employers Serco on Monday morning.

SANDWELL PIC MNA PIC  DAVID HAMILTON PIC  EXPRESS AND STAR 22/10/21 WITH VIDEO Refuge workers at Shidas Lane, Oldbury, protest..
SANDWELL PIC MNA PIC DAVID HAMILTON PIC EXPRESS AND STAR 22/10/21 WITH VIDEO Refuge workers at Shidas Lane, Oldbury, protest..

More than 100 people picketed the Shidas Lane depot, Oldbury, as the dispute over bullying, harassment and working conditions continued.

Justine Jones, GMB organiser, thanked the workers and the public for their support.

She said: "The strike was really good we had a best turnout we have ever had with 110 people at one stage. We were on the picket lines from 5am until noon and we had so many beeps from motorists and messages from people across the UK and Ireland.

"The strikes will continue until the bullying stops and the job is made safe. The people of Sandwell have shown their support – now Sandwell Council must too."

The GMB and Serco are having talks at mediation service ACAS on Monday and the GMB promised to carry on with industrial action if they do not get what they want.

Justine said: "We want the bullies at Serco dealt with, and I mean properly dealt with, not just shoved to the side. We want improved pay as well, Sandwell refuse drivers are on £8,000 less than their counterparts in Birmingham.

"And we want something done about health and safety too. And people have been getting paid on the wrong rate for ages, all of this needs to be addressed."

Refuge workers on the Picket line at Shidas Lane, Oldbury.

Today was the fourth day of industrial action called by the GMB over the dispute in Sandwell.

Andrew Smith, regional operations manager at Serco, said: "We would like to offer our apologies to anyone whose collections may be affected and would ask you to continue to leave your bins out even if they are not collected on the day you expect.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank our employees who will be working additional hours to the minimise disruption to residents."

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