Bin strike in the lead up to Brighton Pride called off

Bins in Brighton and Hove
Bins in Brighton and Hove

Refuse workers have called off a summer bin strike after coming to an agreement with Brighton and Hove City Council.

The GMB union has told the council this morning (July 25) that its members at Cityclean – the council’s waste and recycling service - have agreed proposals aimed at averting strike action.

Members of the GMB union had planned strike action from Monday (July 29) to Sunday (August 4) – in the lead up to and during Brighton Pride (August 3 to 4).

The strike threat came as the union accused the council of ‘anti trade union behaviour’ which the local authority denies.

A council spokesperson said: “We welcome the GMB’s decision to suspend strike action and are pleased there will be no disruption to the clean-up of rubbish during and after Pride.

“We look forward to continuing the discussions about improving our relationship with GMB.”

The GMB union said the strikes which 'would have coincided with the city’s Pride festival has now been put on hold'.

Mark Turner, GMB B50 branch secretary said: "There are still a number of worrying and serious issues in need of addressing, and I’m sure the Brighton & Hove City Council's management team will think so as well. However, with both further meetings over the coming weeks planned and the commencement of the any agreed independent review we hope that matters might now take a turn for the better and flush out those opposed to a good industrial relationship within the paid service with regard to the GMB union.

"This was, to be clear, never about seeking to single out and affecting the city’s Pride celebrations, and our members and their families are looking forward to attending and taking part in both the parade and festivities over the weekend just like thousands of others.

"The power to resolve the issue was always firstly in the hands of the council, they’ve taken that step and we have equally responded, they just now need to follow up on that commitment. Let’s hope they do!"

A statement from Brighton Pride organisers said: "We are very happy to hear that the proposed GMB Union strike that was planned to coincide with Brighton & Hove Pride has been called off.

"Whilst we always independently manage, facilitate and cleanse all of our official event sites and their immediate surrounding areas; the contingency plans we had in place mean that Pride have booked and paid for additional, enhanced cleaning provision at our own expense and these will remain in operation over the weekend.

"This means there will be increased cleansing at the official Pride LGBTQ+ Community Parade, our main fundraising events, Pride in the Park and LoveBN1Fest at Preston Park, Pride Pleasure Gardens on the Old Steine and the Pride Village Party in Kemp Town. We provide additional bins, litter pickers, road sweeping machines and jet washing for these sites.

"Pride do not run any events on the beach and with numerous, unaffiliated events run by independent businesses across the City; we would like to appeal to all businesses to engage in our City Angels campaign. Pride are also sponsoring a beach clean, working with Oceans 8 Brighton on The Big Pride Beach Clean on Sunday 4th August.

"We have the utmost respect and are grateful for the work Cityclean do over the Pride period – and what is already a busy summer weekend. We look forward to welcoming GMB members and workers from Cityclean at our Pride LGBTQ+ Community Parade."