Kirklees Bin Workers Vote To Strike

The action could affect Huddersfield and Dewsbury.

Bin workers in Kirklees have voted for strike action.

Members of the union Unison are prepared to walk out again in a replay of claims of discrimination and victimisation that led to threats of industrial action 18 months ago.

Paul Holmes, Kirklees branch secretary for Unison, said it was “history repeating itself”.

Kirklees Council, which has not been formally informed of the ballot, described the union’s action as “disappointing”.

Several bin workers have been suspended for allegedly buying and drinking alcohol while on duty.

Other incidents under investigation include a car being hit by a bin wagon driven by a worker who was not qualified to drive a HGV and a refuse wagon reversing into a line of green bins.

Last year bin workers based at Huddersfield’s Vine Street depot voted for all-out indefinite industrial action in a row over working patterns, holiday entitlement and claims of harassment, bullying and racism.

The new strike threat follows a consultative ballot on industrial action which finished on November 15. Turnout was 89% with 94% in favour.

More than 70 bin workers voted. Any potential action would affect Huddersfield and Dewsbury.

However Unison has ruled out any strike action over the Christmas period.

“The last thing we want to do is to disrupt collections,” said Mr Holmes. “Members just want to come to work and do their jobs.

“We had hoped that discrimination was a thing of the past. We take no pleasure in returning to this position but we have no alternative.”

Kirklees Council say they were not informed about the ballot action by Unison, and that disciplinary investigations are "not something [they take] lightly."

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