Bin lorry drivers are on strike over a number of days. We apologise but this is out of our control. We are continuing to try and find a resolution that will get drivers back on the streets.Read the latest update
Published Monday, 17 January 2022
Coventry City Council has been informed today of further strike action by the union Unite, which represents bin lorry drivers.
Despite regular meetings with the union and taking action to meet all requests where possible, the Council has been informed that Unite will escalate strike action from the current two days of the four-day working week from the end of this month.
Today’s announcement states the bin lorry drivers will be on total strike during February and March – meaning no collections for two months – affecting all residential and commercial operations.
In addition, an appeal made last week by Coventry City Council to Unite asking for one driver to be exempted from the strike to allow a crew to pick up waste from care homes looking after some of the most vulnerable people in the city, has been rejected.
The decision to take further strike action comes after Unite balloted bin lorry drivers last month over additional pay and Christmas working.
Ongoing negotiations since then has seen offers of a £3,500, tax-free offer to work the Christmas and New Year period and a £1,300 market supplement for drivers towards the bottom of their pay scale, backdated from April last year, rejected by the union.
Coventry City Council is already one of the highest paying local authorities in the West Midlands for Class II HGV drivers, who drive the city’s bin lorries. It means the Council is limited on what else it can offer, as it must be rightly mindful of the duty it has to all of its 4,500-strong workforce and the possibility of future equal pay claims from other trade unions.
Andrew Walster, Director, Streetscene and Regulatory Services at Coventry City Council, is disappointed by the latest development.
He said: “We remain committed to continuing to work with Unite to resolve this situation and have done everything asked of us during the negotiations so far.
“Today’s announcement has also come 24 hours ahead of further planned talks tomorrow at which we hope to move things forward positively, so the timing of this escalation of strike action is both surprising and upsetting.
“We have made what we believe are very good offers in attempt to resolve the strike, so we are bitterly disappointed that the response has been to announce even more strike dates.
“While we respect the democratic right of the Unite members to strike, it is residents and businesses that are being impacted most by their action.
“We have had great support from local people, and we know many have helped friends, family and neighbours to get rid of excess waste. We will do all we can to resolve this situation – but it looks as if it might get worse before it gets better so I would like to thank everyone for their patience and support over the next few weeks.”
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