Unite warns Doncaster residents to prepare for reduced numbers of rubbish collections

Written by: Editorial staff | Published:

Doncaster residents will face periods without rubbish collections due to ongoing disputes with Suez over its recovery and recycle contract, warn Unite.

Workers recorded an 89% vote in favour of strike action after private contractor Suez made a 2% pay offer conditional with the removal of guaranteed overtime.

Unite says this would result in most workers not receiving an increase in pay yet Suez deny these claims.

The union has since announced a strike beginning on Wednesday 23 August until Sunday 27 August. Further action will begin on Saturday 2 September until Wednesday 6 September.

Shane Sweeting, Unite regional officer, said: "Unite recognises that if the strikes go ahead it will have a major effect on local residents but this action is being taken as a last resort.

“We urge Suez to sit down at the negotiating table, make a reasonable pay offer and withdraw its redundancy proposals which will make the contract undeliverable."

Unite is in the process of arranging meetings with Doncaster mayor Ros Jones and the local MPs to seek a solution to the dispute.

Nick Browning, Suez general manager for municipal operations, said: "Although Unite members employed on our Doncaster contract received a significant pay award last December, after threatening strike action over Christmas, they are now demanding a further 8.8 per cent pay increase as a weighted average across roles.

"Clearly this is unrealistic considering that most in the public sector have seen almost a decade of pay freezes or one per cent annual increases at best.

"The dates Unite has chosen to conduct these stoppages are unfortunately designed to have maximum impact on operations and the residents of Doncaster, but our efforts remain focussed on reaching a negotiated position on pay to avoid this action being carried out.”

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