Unite balloon
Unite balloon

Cardiff bin workers in Unite the Union have voted by 98% to strike against management bullying and the use of agencies.

This massive vote on a 77% turnout follows years of bullying by management. The bin workers earned huge respect from the public all the way through the pandemic as they kept this vital service going – even at the expense of their own health.

“All we are asking for is to be treated with the same respect by management as the public has given us”, one worker said. It says it all that the bin workers who speak out need to remain anonymous in case they are singled out by management.

One of the problems is the large number of refuse workers who are employed by agencies instead of directly by the council. It means that they dare not complain about bullying for fear of not being called in to work again – in effect fired. Unite is demanding that after 12 weeks all agency workers should be given full-time contracts by the council.

“It’s incredible really that a Labour council behaves this way to its workforce”, said one Unite official. “But it’s all too common. In Coventry the Labour councillors are refusing to even talk to bin drivers who are on strike.”

Coventry council has spent millions on using strike-breaking firms against the workers when it would have cost only £300,000 to settle the dispute. It would rather defeat its own workers than settle.

After achieving this huge vote for strike action, Cardiff Unite intends to start strike action next month unless the workers’ demands are met.

Socialist Party Wales