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From The Socialist newspaper, 28 June 2017

Refuse workers strike against bullying bosses

Bins, photo Ivor Ibrahamsen (Creative Commons)

Bins, photo Ivor Ibrahamsen (Creative Commons)   (Click to enlarge)

Clive Walder, Birmingham Central Socialist Party

Birmingham council refuse workers represented by Unite have voted to strike on 30 June followed by a series of two-hour stoppages commencing at 6am on 3, 11, 19 and 27 July and 4 August over a bullying culture among management and a threat to make 122 workers (20% of the workforce) redundant.

There will also be an overtime ban with workers adhering to their contracted hours, plus returning to depots for all lunch and tea breaks, also starting on 30 June.

The Labour council claims that this is necessary due to budget cuts - it is expected that the overspend will be 11.9 million as opposed to the 9.7 million originally predicted. The workers think that the bullying from management is designed to force workers to resign without redundancy pay. 90% voted to strike and 93% voted for action short of a strike.

At the same time as wanting to make these workers redundant, the council has been replacing permanent workers with agency staff. It is clear that the intention is to create a more insecure workforce.

Even before making these workers redundant it wasn't unheard of for refuse collections to not take place on the scheduled day. The union has offered to have conciliation service Acas mediate in this but has said that workers are prepared to fight on the streets, in the media, and in the courts if necessary.

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Related links:

Birmingham:

triangleTUSC stands against Birmingham council's cuts and attacks on workers

triangleFirefighters ballot for action

triangleBirmingham Socialist Party: Council cuts - How can we fight back?

triangleMay elections: a chance to fight attacks on health and social care

triangleBirmingham South East Socialist Party: Lessons of history - a socialist view

Workers:

triangleEast London Socialist Party: 'Made in Dagenham' Ford women workers' pay strike 50 years on

triangleYes to the struggle to lift the siege

triangleMay 1968: 'Communist' leaders hand power back to defeated bosses

triangleFirst ever strike at TGI Fridays

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triangleServices disappearing from Harrogate

trianglePCS conference votes for strike action

triangleSolid strike at Tesco Dagenham distribution centre forces pay talks

Refuse workers:

triangleFCC Wilmington refuse workers' strike in hull stands firm

triangleStreet cleaners support the Birmingham bin strike

Bullying:

triangleSchool strikes against academy management

Council:

triangleCollege staff caught between the devil and the deep blue sea

Redundancy:

triangleHull college workers and students protest redundancy plan

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