Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/540/6240
East London street cleaners fight privatised employer
Street cleaners in the London Borough of Waltham Forest are still having problems with Kier, who have taken over the contract from the council (see The Socialist 537). Even while one of their stewards was at the conference of the national shop stewards' network, managers for the company were bringing in workers from their contract in Bromley to clear up unswept streets.
At the moment, only main roads are being regularly swept, with side roads being cleared 'on demand', ie when members of the public complain about the lack of cleansing. The backlog was partially cleared by the agency workers, costing permanent staff their badly-needed overtime. However, 27 tons of rubbish was wrongly dumped in the depot, causing a health and safety hazard, and forcing the permanent staff of Kier and those of refuse contractors Verdant to clear the mess after the weekend.
Members of Unison and Unite will use the strike on pay on 16/17 July to highlight the problems with Kier. They will also lobby the council on 24 July to make them aware of the kind of company to which it awards contracts.
Further action cannot be ruled out, as a mass meeting of workers on 1 July made clear to the full-time officials of the three unions involved (including GMB).
In The Socialist 2 July 2008:
Socialist Party campaigns
Socialist Party news and analysis
National Shop Stewards Network
Campaign for a New Workers Party
Socialist Party LGBT
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party workplace news