20th April 2022

Bin collectors to walkout for four weeks

Four weeks of bin collection strikes beginning in May could cause chaos across Manchester
Bin collectors to walkout for four weeks
Photo: Dominic Alves @ Flickr

Refuge workers are set to strike for 10 days and then walk out for an additional two weeks from May 3. This comes after the General Trade Union (GMB) and Unite Union received 94% in favour of striking in their recent ballot.

The ballot was called following an “offensive” pay offer by Biffa who manage the waste in Manchester. Bin collectors were offered just a 17p per hour increase in their pay.

This has caused even more outrage due to the current cost of living crisis and rising energy crisis.

Refuge workers are members of the GMB and Unite unions, who look after general trade, such as social care, utilities, and distribution. The members took part in a ballot for industrial action.

The strikes will last for 1o days initially, with a further two-week long industrial action beginning May 23. It is estimated that 220,000 houses across Manchester will be affected by this action.

Due to the timing of the strike, beginning just two days before the local elections, it will force electoral candidates to comment on the issue.

Further action could be expected as bin truck driver, Ben Wrigley, told the Manchester Evening News, “I’m willing to picket until Christmas if necessary.”

A Manchester council spokesperson said: “The negotiations are ongoing between Biffa and the unions and we would urge them to reach an agreed way forward to avoid disruption to Manchester residents.”

Students in private rented accommodation are likely to be affected by the strikes, but the University of Manchester are looking to arrange alternative waste collection for students in university halls.

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