Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1038/29007
From The Socialist newspaper, 17 April 2019
Newham bin workers ballot for strikes over council's £21,000 pay robbery
Bin workers on strike in Birmingham (Click to enlarge)
Refuse workers employed by Newham Council in east London could have lost more than £20,000 each in the last decade in a dispute over grading.
The Labour council has failed to progress them through the grading structure which should, as agreed, have commenced 12 years ago in 2007-08. Unite calculates the potential loss of pay amounts to £1,760 a year.
General union Unite will ballot the 45 workers for strike action. The ballot begins on 23 April and closes on 21 May.
Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: "Newham council has repeatedly failed to live up to the agreement it signed more than a decade ago for progression on the national pay scales if the refuse workers had satisfactory appraisals.
"It is a stain on this council's reputation that it has ducked and dived in avoiding honouring this agreement - the grievance complaint that Unite lodged on this issue was not heard until June 2018.
"The council bosses have admitted that they failed to implement the scheme. But, curiously, they have not been able to say why they agreed to it in the first place when they had no intention of implementing it.
"We estimate that, depending on individual circumstances, refuse workers could have lost up to £21,000 in back pay - a considerable sum for this relatively low-paid group of workers who are out in all weathers.
"This is an issue of basic trust, and if the employer is allowed to get away with not implementing the agreement, then it will be emboldened to do so again and again - eventually affecting every council employee adversely.
"Time after time, we have asked the council to implement the scheme, but it has continuously declined to. And that's why we're holding this strike ballot, to show that employers can't ride roughshod over freely entered into agreements to the detriment to our members."
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In The Socialist 17 April 2019:
What we think
Tories facing electoral meltdown - but only a socialist alternative to austerity can finish them off
£100 billion for bosses - cuts for us.
Assange arrest: US and allied governments seeking revenge for exposing dirty wars
Labour looks to Bank of England to stall house prices
No-fault evictions ban, but cuts leave tenants vulnerable
Cuts drive council tax debt
Labour needs socialist policies to solve "climate emergency"
20 years of the minimum wage: Fight for a real living wage for every worker
Newham bin workers ballot for strikes
Arriva Rail North cleaners fight bosses' punitive pay arrears
School staff demand action on pay and testing at NEU conference
Deliveroo workers protest at firm's Nottingham roadshow
PCS union: vital local strikes and a national pay ballot - vote for a fighting leadership
Unison union: right wing tries to block campaigning - elect a socialist leadership
International socialist news and analysis
Sudan: No to rule of the generals!
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
Labour councils must act now to save our schools!
Council elections - an opportunity to present a socialist alternative to cuts
Activists rally in fight for more council housing and against high rents
Alternative housing awards
'Reforms' hollow out the NUS
Youth climate strikes: Democratic organisation and socialist policies needed
Engels' classic essential for understanding socialist ideas old and 'new'
Real life on Universal Credit: "As soon as I get billed for my electric, I'm finished"
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