Strikes begin among refuse workers in Windsor and Maidenhead
Today (31 August), strike action will begin among refuse workers in the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM).
First confirmed by the GMB Union on 19 August, its members are set to strike until they are offered improved pay from the council’s waste contractor Serco.
Currently, refuse loaders in the area are paid £9.91 per hour, upon which they have already rejected a six per cent rise. They are disputing compensation in light of higher reimbursement received by workers employed by different companies or in neighbouring areas.
Due to the action, RBWM Council has informed residents that it will suspend garden waste collection throughout the strike, while its Stafferton Way Household and Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) in Maidenhead will be closed in order to prioritise kerbside collections.
Nikki Dancey, GMB Regional Officer, said: “This is one of the most expensive areas in the country to live in and this pay offer neither reflects that, nor the current rate of inflation, or the attached cost-of-living crisis.
"Increasing numbers of Serco workers are being forced into claiming benefits and using food banks to survive, and this will only worsen as we head towards winter.
“If other local authorities and their contractors can afford to pay between £11 and £12 per hour for their refuse loaders, so can Serco in RBWM.
“The strike will be going ahead from 31 August and the workers don't plan to return until they are offered a decent pay rise which reflects the vital work they do every day.
“There is still time though for Serco to avoid any inconvenience to local residents – which of course may include the Queen – by tabling a sensible pay offer and not one that leaves our members comparatively far worse off than they were last year.”