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01/11/2009 - Brighton and Hove Bin Strike

BIN MEN in the South East of England will walk out next week to protect the terms and conditions of employment. 

The week-long strike will be centered around the
Brighton and Hove area of Sussex.  No refuse will be picked up from any of the city’s 120,000 households.   The walk out will last for a week from Monday 9th – Sunday 15th of this month.  Around 94% of Cityclean workers - the council's in-house recycling, refuse and street cleansing service - voted for the industrial action.
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This strike follows on from the long-running dispute in
Leeds, in Yorkshire.  As can be seen by our news article of 30th October – Leeds Bin Strike – refuse collectors and street cleaners here stand to loose thousands of pounds.   As well as wanting to slash wages, Leeds City Council will also impose new working conditions on their employees.  These included shift changes - such as compulsory weekend working and working bank holidays.

The bin men in
Brighton – as well as street cleaners and mechanics - intend to start a work to rule from November 5th.  The strike itself will start after this.  

Solidarity Executive member, David Durant compared the situation in
Brighton with that in Leeds

“My fellow Executive member, David Kerr, has already called upon
Leeds City Council to sit around the table with the local bin men and sort this whole mess out.  I’m saying the same to Brighton and Hove Council.

The
Brighton workers are angry and frustrated.  No-one goes on strike without good cause – especially so near to Christmas. 

It’s been reported that around 800 bin men in Brighton are faced with pay cuts of up to £8,000 each.  Leaked documents reveal that they would be sacked if they did not accept the deal.  That is a scandal.  No-one in their right mind would accept that

Brighton and Hove Council have about a week to get their act together.  They should use that time well.  They should sit down with the unions and get a deal sorted out”.

Solidarity also understands that Brighton and Hove Council has also alienated another 3,500 workers who provide services to schools and libraries.  They are also looking at industrial action in protest at attempts by the Council to reduce their pay.