UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Solidarity with striking refuse collectors in Leeds

600 Leeds refuse workers, members of UNISON and GMB, employed in Leeds City Council streetscene’services, have been on strike for 3 weeks in a pay and grading dispute. The workers stand to lose £6000 (one third of earnings) in draconian pay cuts’ and are taking indefinite action to force the council to reconsider its position on the pay cuts (which come into effect at the end of a protection period in 2011).

The Tory/Liberal Democrat run council has waged a relentless propaganda campaign and strikebreaking tactics against the strikers including threats to privatise the service later in the year and using private contractors as scab labour.

Tony Pearson, Unison regional organiser, said: "We are gathering more information about these refuse collection vehicles to determine who ultimately employs the staff working on them and whether they are licenced to carry waste. The law is complicated in this area but it is clear to us that the council's regular public statements claiming they want to negotiate a settlement with the unions are just public relations spin. The council is using every tactic they can think of to break this strike regardless of the enormous cost to council taxpayers of bringing in hugely expensive outside agencies".


Messages of support and donations can be sent to:

Branch Secretary
UNISON Leeds local government branch
Geoff Hodgson house
160A Woodhouse Lane

Email: mailto:branch@leedsunisonlg.org.uk