Brighton and Hove bin strike has started today (Tuesday, October 5) – pictures show drivers on picket line at Hollingdean depot

HGV drivers at Brighton and Hove City Council’s refuse and recycling service Cityclean have started strike action today (Tuesday, October 5)

Tuesday, 5th October 2021, 10:34 am
Staff at the Hollingdean depot this morning as HGV drivers in the councils refuse and recycling service Cityclean start strike action

The GMB union confirmed the strike action, announced two weeks ago, had not been averted despite talks with the council to find a resolution to the Cityclean dispute.

The union did say a 'proposed resolution agreement' is to be considered by GMB representatives today (October 5) which aims to resolve the dispute and prevent any further strike action.

Nick Hibberd, the council’s Executive Director for Economy, Environment & Culture said he was hopeful that prolonged strike action would not be necessary. He said: "We have listened to the concerns of staff about these requests, and we have made a number of detailed proposals which we hope GMB and the HGV drivers will agree [today]."

The picket line at the Hollingdean depot as HGV drivers in the councils refuse and recycling service Cityclean start strike action

The strike action was called after the Cityclean refuse, recycling, commercial waste, and com-bin HGV drivers voted to take strike action. The union said the strike vote came after an ongoing dispute with the city council over 'enforced driver removals, changes of duties, crew variations and alterations in plans around the collection of dropped work' which had 'a detrimental impact on the HGV drivers health and well-being at the city’s Hollingdean depot'.

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"Changes are requested to prioritise areas where rubbish and recycling has unfortunately built up due to unavoidable staff shortages, vehicle break downs, or for performance reasons.

“I want to thank GMB for their willingness to meet and hold constructive talks and I also thank Cityclean staff for their continued hard work.

“I hope we can reach agreement and work towards achieving our shared vision of a city where we tackle waste and recycling together, continue collaboratively with Cityclean modernisation plans and provide the best service for residents.

“We understand residents will have concerns about disruption in the coming days and once again reiterate our commitment to finding a positive resolution for both staff and the city.”

The strike action comes on the back of delays to refuse and recycling collections over the past weeks which the council said was as a result of staff shortages due to Covid, difficulty in recruiting, a national shortage of HGV drivers and problems getting vehicle parts when bin lorries break down due to Brexit.