Bin strike averted in West Berkshire after 10% pay deal with Veolia
Refuse collectors have accepted a 10 per cent pay rise and called off a planned strike.
Talks continued into this week between the workers, part of the GMB union, and employers Veolia, which currently holds the contract to run waste services on behalf of West Berkshire Council.
The workers affected were all those who are paid hourly.
The GMB union said that strike action was “always the last resort” and added it was “delighted” that an agreement had been reached without causing any inconvenience to West Berkshire residents.
It said the majority of its members had accepted a revised offer from Veolia of a pay rise of up to 10 per cent, which is approximately a £1 per hour wage increase for most members depending on the job role, an increased Christmas bonus and an extension to when this pay rise would be applied.
They had been due to strike for two weeks, from Monday, October 9, but it was suspended as crisis talks, brokered by ACAS, continued.
David McMullen, GMB regional , said: “This is a great result for our members, who have stood up for themselves together and managed to secure a large pay increase without having to take a single day of action.
“Going on strike is always the last resort and we are delighted that this result was secured without causing any undue inconvenience to the residents of West Berkshire.
“This does though show the value of being a trade union member, of standing together with your colleagues and of making the right choices when presented with a strike ballot.”
A spokesperson for West Berkshire Council said: “An agreement on pay has been reached between GMB union and Veolia.
“This removes the potential for disruption to our waste services and so we are pleased to confirm these will continue as usual.”
One worker – who has been at the company for nearly a decade – previously told the Newbury Weekly News that many members of staff – who are currently paid £11 per hour – were working two jobs to try to make ends meet.