Brighton and Hove bin strike dates coincide with Pride

The GMB union has issued industrial action notices to Brighton & Hove City Council on behalf of its street cleansing, refuse and recycling services.

The first day of full strike action will be Monday July 29 unless further talks are successful.

An overtime ban will also run until August 5.

Additional full day walk outs are planned for August 2, 3, 4 and 5, with further strike action by the department’s vehicle workshop and maintenance staff on July 30 and August 1, said a GMB spokesman. The strike action coincides with Pride weekend.

The first day of Brighton bin strike action will be Monday July 29

More dates are planned.

The union has accused the council of ‘anti trade union behaviour’.

Mark Turner, GMB B50 branch secretary, said: “It’s been very much a case of one step forward two steps back by council officers in the meetings facilitated by ACAS, several times we thought that a settlement to the dispute was imminent as we seemed to agree on much more than divided us and that we were at the stage where simply changes to some wording in the working document was the only final stumbling block to avoid.

“We couldn’t have been more wrong as agreements we thought were signed off by all three of the city’s political parties were then revoked by the council officers and further vexatious claims against representatives of the GMB union suddenly appeared, leaving the officers demanding that the GMB rep’s exclusion from the Hollingdean Depot continued, even after agreeing that he should return to the workplace.

“It has always been made very clear that although we could discuss all other issues to seek a consensus and way forward that GMB members red lines on the most serious issues were not on a pick and mix basis, they either agreed to all or none.

“Those red lines were that their rep must be returned to the depot and that the unfair persecution and anti-trade union behaviour he was subjected to cease, along then with allowing GMB members their statutory right of access to the union representative of their choice at all times should they need to.

“There is a further meeting planned to meet with council officers, councillors and ACAS scheduled for Thursday 18th and GMB will attend in the spirit of seeking a resolution of avoiding the need for industrial action as we have all along, but right now we have no faith and trust in what the council officers say or agree to at the meeting because it seems they then change their mind upon returning to the larger exec team meaning that we can’t be assured of an agreement ever being reached. But maybe they will prove me wrong.”