Bin strikes: Brighton and Hove bin lorry drivers vote for two-week strike action

Union members at Brighton's City Clean have voted for strike action, which would mean refuse and recycling would not collected for two weeks next month.

Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 3:31 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st September 2021, 3:32 pm

A GMB Southern union spokesman said: "GMB can announce that Brighton’s City Clean refuse, recycling, commercial waste, and com-bin HGV drivers have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action."

The union said the ballot result on a return of 79.6 per cent was that members were 100 per cent in favour of strike action.

The spokesman said the strike vote comes over a 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'.

The union said the strike action would mean the city’s residential refuse and recycling and commercial waste and com-bin services will 'remain unemptied and left on the city’s streets'.

GMB members have decided that the first of a number of strike dates will be over a two-week period from the 5th October 2021. The spokesman said it means 'the city’s residential refuse and recycling and commercial waste and com-bin services throughout Brighton and Hove area will remain unemptied and left on the city’s streets'.

Mark Turner, GMB B50 branch secretary, said the dispute was 'avoidable' and Gary Palmer, GMB regional organiser, said there had been 'plenty of time' during GMB’s industrial balloting processes to avoid the industrial action. He added that the council now has a two-week grace period during the required notification period before the strikes happen.

Brighton and Hove City Council has been approached for comment.

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. Rubbish and recycling collection times in Brighton and Hove set to spiral due to council staff shortages caused by Covid | Brighton & Hove Independent (brightonandhoveindependent.co.uk)

The strike action would mean all residential refuse and recycling and commercial waste and com-bin services throughout Brighton and Hove would not be collected
The City Clean Hollingdean Depot, in Upper Hollingdean Road, Brighton