Thursday, 26 February 2009

WASTE AND RECYCLING STRIKE CALLED OFF

Thanet district Council press release,

An eleventh hour deal has succeeded in the planned waste and recycling strikes being called off.

Meetings between senior managers at Thanet District Council were held this lunchtime (Thursday 26 February) with the small number of GMB union members, who work in the waste and recycling team as HGV drivers, who had been threatening to go out on strike over their pay grades.
As a result of these discussions and a commitment by the council to independently assess the HGV drivers’ post and to undertake a review of the council’s job evaluation system by the end of the year, the strikes, planned for tomorrow (Friday 27 February) and Monday (2 March) have been called off.

Local residents are now being advised to put their waste or recycling out as normal for collection on these days.

Cllr. Shirley Tomlinson, Cabinet Member for Commercial and Environmental Services, said: “The council never wanted to see a strike, as we have exceptionally good relations with our staff. Although this is literally at the last minute, I’m delighted that we’ve been able to come to an agreement to avert the planned strike. Our thanks go out to the drivers for their help in coming to this solution. I’m sure everyone is in agreement that the last thing we wanted in Thanet was a strike that left our residents without waste and recycling collections.

“We’re aware that residents will obviously be receiving different messages, as they have been told all week not to put their rubbish out for collection on the strike days, but now that the strike has been called off, the message for our residents is that it’s business as usual. Please put your rubbish or recycling out for collection as normal and it will be taken. We appreciate that some people may not get this message, but obviously an agreement has only just been reached and we’re doing our best to advise people as quickly as possible and through as many different ways as we can.”

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