The trade union organisation, GMB, has called for a ballot over the proposed strike action of its members employed as drivers on Sita’s commercial waste collection contract in Sussex.
The ballot will take place next week and, unless issues are resolved its members – those operating out of a depot ear Crawley – are scheduled to strike, leading to a huge impact on commercial waste collections in the area. Sita, however, says it is disappointed that a ballot has been called as “…discussions with colleagues in Crawley are ongoing”.
Gary Cook, GMB Regional Organiser, said: “Sita cut the pay of drivers in June of this year by reducing their working week. Drivers accepted the reduction in the working week in good faith after being told by management that no further changes to their terms and conditions would take place if they accepted.
Sita – “Consultation discussions with colleagues in Crawley are ongoing, therefore we are disappointed that the GMB has decided to jump the gun and call a consultative ballot. We are working to agree a mutually satisfactory resolution and both parties are confident that this can be achieved.”
Responding, a Sita spokesperson said: “For the past year we have been consulting with staff at our recycling and waste collection branches across the country as we are working to standardise pay rates at each location. This resulted, in part, from a survey in which employees told us that they wanted pay rates to be the same so that employees who do the same job in each branch are paid the same amount. We have also been consulting with members of staff about the number of hours they are contracted to work. In some cases we have been adjusting the number of contracted hours that staff are paid for to match the number of hours they actually do.
“Consultation discussions with colleagues in Crawley are ongoing, therefore we are disappointed that the GMB has decided to jump the gun and call a consultative ballot. We are working to agree a mutually satisfactory resolution and both parties are confident that this can be achieved.”