Strike action by recycling collectors at Kier Ltd in Bath and North East Somerset will continue after Unite members rejected the company’s latest paltry pay offer in an ongoing £2 an hour pay disparity dispute.
The workers, operating out of the Keynsham depot, voted overwhelmingly for strike action with 86 per cent in favour and 100 per cent in favour of action short of strike at the end of December 2015, over pay inequality which sees them being paid up to 25 per cent less than employees at the nearby Bristol site.
The Unite members rejected the company’s latest 3 per cent pay offer at a meeting held yesterday (Thursday January 7) following make-or-break talks at the conciliation service, Acas.
In talks stretching back to September 2015, Unite has made clear throughout that it does not expect full parity in pay to be met at once, but would accept this being reached over this and the next two pay reviews.
“The bottom line is that seven miles down the road employees are being paid up to 25 per cent more an hour to do the same job with loaders at the Keynsham depot earning less than the living wage on just £7.81 an hour,” Unite regional officer Jerry Pickford.
“The company’s continued refusal, despite repeated attempts, to take the concerns of its hardworking workforce seriously is the last straw.
“The people of Bath and North East Somerset need to know that Kier Ltd has been dragging its feet over this dispute for months now with no serious commitment to reaching an agreement. It is simply not acceptable that such a huge variation in pay is allowed to persist.
“Our members have been left with no option but to continue with the series of strikes and overtime ban. We urge Kier Ltd to stop dragging its feet and commit to resolving this dispute.”