Southport Tip strike will impact your Christmas bin collections

19th December 2022

Southport and Formby residents could be faced with piled high mounds of Christmas rubbish after it was revealed local tips will go on strike.

Waste workers at Southport and Formby tips, as well as 20 other tip sites run by Veolia across the region will begin industrial action on Wednesday, December 28.

It’s expected the strike could last until New Years Eve.

Further strikes are planned beginning on Monday, January 2 until Saturday, January 7 and again from Sunday, January 15 until Saturday, January 21.

The action is being held as Unite members employed by Veolia in Merseyside fight for a better pay offer.

The union has accused the company of being “scrooge-like” for only offering a 20 pence increase for its workers.

Unite says the majority of the workers are paid just £9.50 an hour, including those who have a HGV class two driving licence, with class one HGV drivers receiving just £11.87 an hour.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “.
“Unite is entirely committed to defending and enhancing the jobs, pay and conditions of its members and the workers at Veolia will receive the union’s complete support.”

The union is seeking an increase of 50 pence an hour for the majority of the staff, increasing pay to £10 an hour, with class two HGV drivers being paid £12 an hour and class one drivers receiving £14.47 an hour. As part of the pay claim, Unite expects the differentials to be maintained when the national minimum wage increases in April 2023. So far, Veolia has only been prepared to offer a 20 pence an hour pay increase.

Unite regional officer John McColl said: “The strike action will inevitably cause severe disruption at the busiest time of the year as residents seek to get rid of household waste. This dispute is completely of Veolia’s own making, they can fully make a fair pay offer but have chosen not to. Veolia needs to return to the negotiating table and make a pay offer which meets our members’ expectations.”

A Veolia spokesperson said: “We recognise the hard work of our teams in Merseyside and Halton in delivering essential public services for the community and this is reflected in our improved package for 2022/2023, covering both pay and conditions.

“We remain committed to engage in constructive discussions with Unite the Union and its members to find a resolution for our staff and avoid disruption to services.”