Strikes that began on 5 October amidst HGV drivers for Brighton and Hove City Council’s refuse and recycling service, Cityclean, are expected to continue after unsuccessful talks with trade union GMB.
The walk-out is expected to last for the entirety of the 14 days proposed, which was enacted after an initial ballot result amongst workers saw a return of 79.6 per cent of union members being in favour of industrial action. The vote came in the wake of an ongoing dispute between drivers and the council pertaining to the local government’s refusal to intervene in the unilateral imposition of daily changes in duties and crews and the removal of workers from longstanding rounds without process, which GMB claims Cityclean has carried out by ‘management whim’. 54 members of staff are currently partaking in the action, all of which are refuse and recycling lorry drivers.
The council warns local residents that all household and communal bin waste and recycling services offered by Cityclean have been affected by the strike, as well as the provider’s garden and trade waste services. The governmental body affirms, however, that contingency plans have been put in place in order to assuage the amount of surplus refuse that will accumulate as a result of the industrial action, stressing that their non-striking street cleaning teams will carry out the additional work.
In spite of this plan, the council is still advising local residents on how to handle uncollected refuse. The body advises local residents to either double or triple bag non-recyclable refuse, to be placed outside of their green wheelie bins in the event of a missed collection. In terms of recyclable refuse, the body advises residents to store it at home where possible. Both of the city’s Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) will be open to accept surplus waste, both non-recyclable and recyclable, throughout the duration of the strike. As for garden waste, subscriptions will be prolonged for one collection in order to accommodate for those missed.