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Council chiefs have message for residents amid ongoing binmen strike


Binmen working for Urbaser walked out in Selby yesterday (August 2) – prompting a notice from the council about the impact on non-recyclable waste collection.

Urbaser is contracted to collect and empty bins in the town on behalf of North Yorkshire Council (NYC) and workers walked out for four days from August 1 over pay.

This follows two one-day strikes at the end of June.

NYC assistant director for environmental services, Michael Leah, said: “We recognise and respect pay negotiations between Urbaser and its staff.

“This is a matter for the company to progress and resolve.

“Looking further ahead, and with the decision to bring the contract back in-house from April 2024, we continue to work closely with Urbaser and, where appropriate, engage directly with the workforce.

“To ensure as little disruption as possible, all garden waste bins will be collected on the same week as recycling bins during August.”

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Unite the Union said that workers plan a total of five walk-outs of the same number of days once a fortnight until September 29.

General secretary Sharon Graham said that NYC was missing in action whilst the disruption to Selby’s residents increased and Unite would be providing support to all members who are undertaking strike action.

Unite regional officer Richard Bedford said: “Urbaser’s attempts to undermine the strike and the collective bargaining process will not work and are just exacerbating the dispute.

“The increased disruption to bin collections is entirely the fault of Urbaser and North Yorkshire Council, which needs to pressure the firm into putting forward an acceptable offer.” 

Unite says bin loaders and grounds workers are paid £10.64 an hour and refuse lorry drivers, needing an HGV licence, are paid £12.51 an hour.

An eight per cent pay offer with bonuses was rejected by workers.

Councillor Jack Proud, representing Selby East division for Labour, and a former refuse collector, said: “Hopefully there can be a resolution to the strike action in the coming weeks and Urbaser improve the offer they have made so far so normal collections can resume.”

Urbaser workers carrying out bin collections on behalf of Welwyn Hatfield Council and Waltham Forest Council have raised their own pay concerns in the past 12 months.



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