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‘Working for free’ row

Veolia drivers to ballot for strike action over unpaid shifts
Alex Flynn, Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Unite members, employed by the UK’s leading waste management provider, Veolia Environmental Services UK Ltd, at the Ditton Road site in Widnes, Cheshire are set to ballot for strike action following a long running dispute over unpaid shifts.


Workers at the Widnes site are employed on a contract of any five shifts from seven. However, drivers are not being paid if they work a sixth shift in a seven day period.


Following numerous meetings between Veolia management and Unite, the company has failed to offer a suitable payment to reflect the amount of hours being worked by Unite members.


Unite has made every attempt to resolve this dispute including meetings under the auspices of the conciliation service Acas, but has grown frustrated with a refusal by company bosses to seriously address workers’ concerns over unpaid shifts.


The strike ballot, over the requirement of workers to work a sixth day in a seven day period, opens on Thursday, November 8 and closes on Monday, November 19.


Unite regional officer Steven Gerrard said, “Unite has put forward numerous proposals to the company, including an option to give our members the time off in lieu of hours worked, but the company has refused this.


“This situation simply cannot continue. Our members have had enough of working for free.


“While many workers have to do extra unpaid hours, the company’s latest accounts show it has made pre-tax profits of £79m, yet it is reluctant to share its success with the workers and resolve this dispute.


“Unite urges Veolia management to come up with an acceptable proposal, if we are to avoid our members taking strike action.”


Unite is committed to doing all within its power to resolve this dispute and will remain open to negotiations up to and beyond the ballot of its members.

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