Thurrock Council waste and recycling strikes go on

Essential workers fighting to defend their pay from Thurrock Council bosses resolve to continue strike action

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Unite members who provided essential services during the height of the pandemic have resolved to continue their strike in a battle to defend their pay from a brutal attack by Thurrock Council bosses.

Workers in the waste and recycling department at Thurrock Council have been on strike since the 13 April 2021. Today, their union has given Thurrock Council notice that the strike will continue until June 18 unless the council ends its brutal and callous attack on the essential workers’ pay and conditions.

The proposed cuts mean the workers who were applauded by Thurrock residents for their contribution during the health crisis, face losing between £1200 and £3800 a year which will leave the workers struggling to pay their bills, rent and mortgages.

Cllr Andrew Jefferies, cabinet member for waste services wrongly claimed today that there are no savings attached to the Councils’ proposals. The Council itself has advised the unions that the proposed savings are approximately £967,000. With other changes the total savings are approximately £1,077,694.

Unite regional officer Michelle Cook said, “The blame for this ongoing strike lies squarely at the feet of council bosses. It’s an absolute disgrace that Thurrock Council is trying to slash thousands of pounds from essential workers’ pay in the middle of a health crisis.

“These essential workers who were applauded for their work through the pandemic are defending their pay,” she added. “The council’s cuts mean they will struggle to pay the bills, rent and mortgages.

“Thurrock Council can end this strike if it chooses. Instead it’s spending thousands of pounds on external contractors while the rubbish piles up. It’s time for the Chief Executive Lyn Carpenter and the leader of the council Rob Gledhill to end the disruption and negotiate an end to this dispute.”

By Ciaran Naidoo

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