Bromley binmen set to strike in ‘fair pay’ increase row with Veolia

PUBLISHED: 15:42 18 June 2013 | UPDATED: 15:42 18 June 2013

Bromley’s binmen have voted to strike over a proposed pay increase which they believe is too low.

Veolia, who run the refuse services in the borough, have offered employees a two per cent pay increase - but trade union Unite are demanding a rise that meets the “real cost of living”.

Unite regional officer, Onay Kasab, said: “My members are not being greedy. All they want is to be able to pay the bills.

“Fair pay for refuse workers need not cost council tax payers a single extra penny. Veolia made £121 million in profits last year. Nobody needs a business degree to work out that the money exists.

“Nor are we calling for special treatment.

“We will give the company time to make a new offer. Now that they know the strength of feeling that exists, they can avoid strike action with a fair offer.”

Workers in Croydon have also voted to strike, and Veolia’s employees in Camden are currently being consulted on the same pay increase which they are expected to also reject.

A Veolia spokesman said: “We are very disappointed with the decision to take industrial action as we feel we have offered an extremely good pay rise given today’s financial climate and the fact that the public sector have had a three-year pay freeze.

“Given that the turnout for the ballot was so low in Bromley with only 73 out of 219 employees voting, with just 60 yes votes, means we expect an early return to talks so that an amicable solution can be reached without resorting to industrial action.”

Union representatives will be meeting this week to set strike days, which must begin within the next four calendar weeks in order to comply with legislation.

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