Bin men refuse to work Easter

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BIN men across Carmarthenshire, UK are threatening to hold an unofficial strike over the Easter bank holidays over a cut in their wages.

They are furious their bonus pay and triple pay has been axed by Carmarthenshire Council.

After angry meetings at council depots in Johnstown, Glanaman and Trostre in Llanelli, bin men have said they will simply refuse to work those days.

One bin man, who did not wish to be named, said: “It’s going to happen. All the boys said they’re not coming in.

“They won’t pay us the triple time or give us a lieu day. How come all the office staff are off but we have to work?

“We could lose our jobs — the unions said it was a possibility.” Another worker added: “It’s rubbish. It’s not a strike — we’re just not turning up for work. We don’t know what’s going to happen. They’ve left us totally in the lurch.”

The proposed action could affect rubbish collections on Good Friday, April 6, and Easter Monday, April 9.

The county council was unable to say how badly services would be affected.

The council has changed the pay of staff under a process called Single Status, which attempts to equalise salaries across the council.

It means bin men no longer get triple time or double time and day in lieu for bank holidays. Instead they will only get double time.

An extra bank holiday bonus payment has also been axed and bin men can no longer leave early if they finish their round ahead of time.

The majority of bin men are represented by the unions GMB Unite and Unison.

Unison’s Carmarthenshire branch secretary Mark Evans said: “To be honest, they’ve been hammered.

“We’ve told management: ‘you reap what you sow’, but management wasn’t having any of it.

“Morale was already pretty low and this has turned worker against worker. It’s caused a lot of antagonism.”

He said the unions have asked the council to show them where, in the men’s contracts, it says they must work on bank holidays.

Despite a crisis meeting on Monday with management, they said they are still waiting for an answer.

The council’s director of technical services, Richard Workman, said: “Payments for bank holidays have been standardised across the authority for all staff as part of the Single Status implementation.

“We are currently in discussions with the unions in relation to the refuse/recycling crews working over the Easter bank holiday.

“Residents will be kept informed over the arrangements for collections.”

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