Picketers gathered at the Eastcroft Depot where Nottingham's rubbish collection is based from the ungodly hour of 4.30am. They hoped to convince bin men (and they did all seem to be men) to refuse to go into work. This was achieved by standing in front of cars and even bin lorries to get them to stop and then talking to, or at least leafleting, the occupants. Unfortunately, most of them were either agency workers who have to stay onside with management if they want to get a permanent job or members of the GMB who have endorsed the 2.45% pay offer and rejected strike action.
This was the second day of picketing at the depot and on the first day there had been some heated moments and at least one apparently serious confrontation. There were a few instances of 'interesting' driving and a few heated words exchanged, but things remained relatively peaceful. Later on, managers (some of them seemingly quite senior) came along as observers. They claimed they had spoken to staff encouraging them to be more diplomatic towards strikers, but ironically, one of the biggest arguments I witnessed was with one of those self same managers.
With most of the lorries having left the depot, strikers drifted off to support picket lines across the city. I found my way to County Hall where a small group of strikers set themselves up by the main road entrance. There were fewer pickets than there had been on the first day (even with the arrival of an official from Amicus), which is unlikely to have been helped by the inclement weather. Nevertheless, a few delivery lorries (including a baker and a delivery of sausages) had apparently been convinced to turn back prior to my arrival.
Many people driving in simply tried to ignore the strikers. Some took the leaflets proffered to them, but most simply drove past. There were a few brief discussions, but I didn't see anybody successfully convinced not to go into work. Gauging the strike's impact on the county council was a difficult task, but the car park, although far from empty, seemed to be less busy than would be the case on a typical day.
With the rain continuing ceaselessly, it was decided to wind up the picket around 9.15, when in any case most workers were likely to have come in. Almost immediately after people had left someone turned up from the Guardian to take photos. A small group, inclusing myself, made their way to Trent Bridge House, which had the advantage of of a rain-proof overhang. A small group huddled together there, before disbanding at about 10am to go and find somewhere to dry out.