21 September 2012
Updated Tuesday 25 September: with direct email for solidarity messages
Around 100 striking refuse workers forced back scab bin wagons in Doncaster today.
The refuse workers employed by contractor SITA are fighting for pay parity with other workers in the region doing the same jobs. The Doncaster workers are being paid around £1 an hour less than their counterparts in Leeds, where workers staged a three-month strike to defend their pay in 29009.
Now the Doncaster workers – members of trade union Unite – have voted to escalate their action to an all out strike.
Doncaster Unison branch secretary Jim Board reports:
Today’s picket line in Doncaster was fantastic. The workers, who have now voted to take all out strike action, were incredibly confident from the start and gave a warm welcome to reps from Doncaster Unison who went on a solidarity visit.
Attempts by managers at the Whittington Street depot to take out bin wagons using scab workers from other depots met with an immediate decision to blockade the road and a standoff for over 30 minutes, with managers deliberately trying to provoke workers into confrontations.
When the police finally arrived they adopted a “watching brief” telling Unite reps that they din’t want to get involved and making no attempt to clear pickets from the road as they prevented lorries from leaving.
There will be a second day of strike action on Monday 24 September, followed by further action on the following two Fridays and Mondays.
No decision has yet been made on a start date for the all-out action but there is a clear determination on the part of rank and file workers to escalate this dispute and to win quickly.
Please send messages of support to the workers’ Unite rep Chris Weldon.