GMB members employed by Brighton and Hove council have recorded a near unanimous vote to take part in a series of strikes that are set to bring refuse collection and street cleaning in Brighton to a standstill.
In an official ballot, conducted by Electoral Reform Services, GMB members employed in Brighton Council’s Cityclean department voted by 94% to 6% to take part in an all out strike.
The first week of action will be from the 9th – 15th November inclusive and further dates of action are set to be announced next week. In the interim the GMB will be instructing its members to ‘work to rule’ from the 5th November onwards.
The action is taking place as a result of the Conservative run council’s attempts to cut the pay of GMB members by up to £8000 each. In total over 800 staff face pay cuts.
Mark Turner, GMB Branch Secretary said: “I’ve never seen such a solid group of workers and this shows that they, like GMB members in Leeds, will do whatever it takes to protect themselves from Conservative pay cuts.
GMB has had meetings with the opposition Labour and Green parties who support the workers. At the same time Mary Mears, the leader of the Conservative administration which is trying to implement the cuts, has hit the bunker and is not responding to e-mails or requests for a meeting.
We are calling for the residents of Brighton & Hove to let Mary Mears know that she cannot stay in hiding and needs to bring a decent offer to the negotiating table or she will face the wrath of voters when the streets turn to chaos.”
Rob Macey GMB Organiser said: “GMB members don’t take this type of action lightly and we are conscious of the inconvenience it will bring to the residents of the city. We are also however confident that the public will support our members when they consider how they would react if they themselves were faced with pay cuts of up to £8000 each through no fault of their own. We are faced with another Leeds type dispute on the same issue which is now in the eighth week of all out strike action.”
Charles Harrity, GMB Organiser also added: “GMB members know that the public is on their side in this bitter dispute and we will be establishing a strike fund for any member of the public who wishes to make a donation to the workers.”
Contact: Mark Turner, GMB Branch Secretary, 07860 787973, Rob Macey, GMB Organiser 07710 618 908, Charles Harrity, GMB Organiser, 07977 518042