Millions of Londoners warned they face bin collection chaos amid latest strike threat

·2-min read
Bin collections appeared to be the worst affected (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Archive)
Bin collections appeared to be the worst affected (Steve Parsons/PA) (PA Archive)

Londoners were on Wednesday warned to brace for bin collection chaos as staff at the capital’s largest rubbish tips announced strike action.

Bins could pile high in south London after GMB Union members at waste transfer sites in Wandsworth and Battersea threatened to walk-out in a dispute over pay.

The waste transfer stations, run by Cory Environmental Ltd, collect commercial and household rubbish before it's sent to be commercially disposed of or recycled.

The union warned residents in all South London boroughs to expect a knock-on effect to their bin collection services as no other local tips have the capacity to store the large volumes of rubbish that would build up if the Cory sites close.

Paul Grafton, GMB Regional Organiser, said: “It is a shame that it has come down to industrial action, but Cory have refused to budge.

“GMB has pushed Cory continually for intervention by ACAS. Eventually Cory caved in and agreed to meet with them, but we don’t hold out much hope of a resolution.

“GMB has announced four days of strikes initially, followed by more frequent dates of action.

“There is a very simple way for all this inconvenience on the general public to be avoided – Cory needs to offer their workers a pay deal that won’t result in them being worse off at the end of each month.”

Cory Environmental has been contacted for comment.

It comes as rail unions announced strikes which would shut down the country’s transport network on June 21, 23 and 25.

Some 10,000 London Underground workers will also walk-out on June 21 in the ongoing dispute over job losses and pensions.

It is the biggest outbreak of industrial action in the industry in a generation.

A Cory Environmental spokesman said its facilities would not completely shutdown if there was strike action and most employees had been happy with the 5.15 per cent pay rise they had been offered.

“This offer has been well received by the majority of our employees, but a small number have voted for industrial action,” he added.

“As we treat our people fairly and equally, and pay more than the London Living Wage, we are disappointed that this decision has been reached.

“As a recycling and waste management company that serves millions of people in London and the South East, it is our absolute priority that we continue to deliver this public service.

“Accordingly, in the event that the proposed industrial action goes ahead, we have contingency plans in place to ensure that this vital service continues uninterrupted.

“All of our sites – including our civic amenity sites where the public can dispose of household waste – will continue to operate as normal.”