Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty supports the workers in the Cleansing Department and other Council manual workers who are fighting the attempts by the City of Edinburgh Council to cut their wages and impose changes in their conditions. Here is the latest news in this struggle which affects everyone in the city, and beyond.
Street cleaners have hit out at Council leaders’ claims that they are “set to give up their protest” in the long-running dispute over wages and conditions.
“It’s absolute nonsense. There’s no truth in it at all,“ a Council street cleaner said. “Everybody I spoke to today at work was of the same opinion.”
“The vast majority of manual workers will not be going back until the wages are re-paid to the binmen whose wages have been docked.”
The Council claimed that a “formal agreement” has been put to the street cleaners. But a street cleaner stated: “The only letter we have had through the door from the Council is one stating that our wages are being cut to between £12,000 and £14,000.”
Hundreds of Council manual workers agreed at a mass meeting on 9th October to continue their work-to-rule and overtime ban to oppose wage cuts and changes in conditions. “Nothings changed,” a street cleaner told us, “This is Council PR. They can’t give separate deals to different sections of workers.”
And a street cleaner slammed the Council’s “partial performance” policy of docking the wages of binmen who are working to rule. “The binmen are the only people in the City of Edinburgh Council being hit by so-called “partial performance.” It’s victimisation!” he insisted.
And a bin worker stated: “The management are using bullyboy tactics and harassment. Our depot’s like a police state.” He explained that several binmen signed off sick by their doctor are being refused sick pay by the Council. “This is illegal,“ he declared.
“SUPPORT THE COUNCIL WORKERS”
The Council workers solidarity group, who have been blockading the private bin lorries, stated: “The Council manual workers are fighting the first battle against the Council’s plans for massive cuts and privatisation of many services. We urge Edinburgh citizens to support the Council workers – this affects us all.”
Meanwhile a Council source revealed that Council bosses recently held a summit meeting to discuss how much longer they can continue paying “astronomical sums” to the private companies who are operating bin lorries during the dispute. Council leaders are still refusing to comply with Freedom of Information requests to reveal the sums being paid to Assist, Shank Waste Management and other companies.
The Council’s claims that the street cleaners were about to end their industrial action were reported as if they were fact in the Edinburgh Evening News on 19th October. It is believed that some supporters of the council workers are investigating a submission to the Press Complaints Commission.
More info, and to get involved, contact Council workers solidarity group firstname.lastname@example.org
Organising meetings currently held weekly, next meeting 6pm Tues 27 October at ACE, 17 West Montgomery Place, EH7 5HA All interested very welcome.
The Edinburgh Muckraker news-sheet and stickers can be collected free from ACE, open Saturday 11-6, Tuesday 1-4pm, Thursday 6-8pm