Bin strike threatened in Adur and Worthing as refuse collectors set to vote on industrial action

Refuse collectors in Adur and Worthing are set to vote on industrial action after new strike dates were announced in Sussex, a union has said.

With a bin strike in Eastbourne 'set to spread across Sussex', GMB Union has launched a consultative ballot for drivers in Adur and Worthing. It follows a dispute over pay and conditions.

"Adur and Worthing Council would do well to listen to the concerns of our members, rather than fight the inevitable like neighbouring Eastbourne Council," read a statement from Mark Turner, GMB branch secretary.

He added: "Refuse collectors across the South Coast feel angry and unappreciated.

GMB refuse collectors in Brighton successfully won improved pay, terms and conditions after a long-running strike at the end of last year. Photo: Eddie Mitchell

“They do a dirty and difficult job and should get the respect and pay they deserve — that’s all GMB members are asking for.

“No one seems to notice refuse collectors until they find their bins unemptied and the streets strewn with rubbish. Unfortunately, that’s what is about to happen. "

Refuse collectors in Eastbourne are to take their third day of industrial action today (Monday, January 10).

Further strike dates have now been announced from January 14 to 28, which will see up to 50,000 household affected.

A consultative ballot for refuse collectors in Adur and Worthing will close next Wednesday (January 19).

GMB refuse collectors in Brighton successfully won improved pay, terms and conditions after a long-running strike at the end of last year.

A spokesman for Adur and Worthing Councils said: "We look forward to meeting the GMB tomorrow (Tuesday, January 11) to discover for the first time what issues they have to raise.

"In the meantime we are continuing to conduct a review of the entire waste and recycling service in partnership with the officially recognised union, Unison.

"We applaud the tremendous work undertaken by teams during the pandemic who did not miss a collection round and have also recognised that, in some areas, terms and conditions of employment may need reviewing as we look to the future.

"In some cases this has already led to improved terms and we will continue this process in full consultation with the workforce."