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Sheffield recycling workers to resume strike action
Recycling workers at Sheffield council's five privatised Dump-it sites will strike again on 1-2 September.
Eight weeks after suspending their indefinite strike action against cuts in jobs, opening hours and pay, the promised talks to resolve outstanding issues have failed to deliver any more concessions.
Workers, members of the GMB union, feel that the Labour council, Veolia and Sova Recycling Ltd have been stringing them along to get through the busy summer period. In a month's time they face their working hours (and pay) being cut to only 22-23 a week throughout winter. As one worker said: "How can we live on £130 a week?"
The previous strike action did win the re-instatement of up to six workers made compulsorily redundant, but even more workers have left since and not been replaced. Promises that a bonus scheme would mean an extra £2 an hour on top of the minimum wage basic have not materialised, the bonus has only paid out 75p an hour.
And the council, committed to their £500,000 cuts to the recycling budget have refused to increase opening days and hours at the tips. This is despite the long queues of cars that have blocked main roads - so much as to be reported on local radio travel bulletins.
Having threatened to resume the strike action a few weeks ago, now the workers feel that they have nothing to lose. If they show the same determination as during their earlier 28 days of strike action, then with the support of Sheffield trade unions and anti-cuts campaigners, they can win an important victory.
In The Socialist 29 August 2012:
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