Sheffield recycling workers suspend strike after winning jobs back

4 July 2012

GMB members who work at Sheffield’s recycling centres have suspended their all-out strike after winning back the jobs of workers who had been made redundant and securing concessions by management over pay and protecting the public service.

The 35 GMB members took on Sheffield City Council, private contractor Veolia and charity Sova Recycling, taking 21 days of discontinuous strike action before going all out from Saturday 23 June.

After 12 days of all-out strike action, the employers have been forced to reinstate all the GMB members who had been made redundant.

The strikers have agreed to trial a bonus scheme that they have been told can provide a £2 an hour increase in wages, while an annualised hours scheme has been made optional, and pay protection has been put in place until December for workers who have not secured foreman jobs.

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The employers had planned to restrict all but one of the five recycling centres to a weekend-only service, but the strike has also forced them to agree longer opening hours for this important public service.

Three of the centres will now be open six days a week, with one open seven days a week, and one for four days a week. Staff will be deployed to alternative sites so that they do not have to work most weekends and travel will be paid.

After these concessions, the workers have suspended thir all-out strike. The GMB branch will review the situation after three weeks to make sure the gains are “evident” before moving to end the dispute.

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