Unite members working for Cardiff council’s refuse and recycling department have voted overwhelmingly to take strike action for four weeks from Thursday 28 December 2023 – until Thursday 25 January 2024. The fresh strike action relates to a number of local issues which the council has failed to address, the most prominent being a widespread bullying culture within the department.
Unite members have previously taken 12 weeks of strike action over poverty pay rates this autumn. The new strike action will come at the busiest period of the year for refuse collections and will cause huge disruption to post-Christmas collections across the city.
Unite is calling for the leadership of Cardiff council to urgently enter discussions with the union to seek a resolution to the issues raised by workers. Throughout the current dispute the council’s leadership has abjectly failed to acknowledge Unite’s concerns and secure a resolution.
Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “Cardiff council has completely failed to acknowledge that there is a bullying culture within the refuse and recycling department. The council must act urgently to address this.
“Our members encounter bullying at work every day and they have had enough. The overwhelming vote in favour of strike action is a clear demonstration of how angry they are.
“Unites support for our members at Cardiff council is unwavering and the workers will continue to receive the union’s total backing.”
Unites new mandate from its members for industrial action is in relation to a number of local issues which the council has failed to address. These include:
- Failure to deal with endemic bullying by managers and supervisors
- A failure to compensate workers for the cost of living crisis
- The failure to implement council policies consistently
- An increase in spinal pay points in line with the real living wage increase and maintain differentials
- The failure to offer direct employment to agency workers
- A failure to deal with grievances in an acceptable and timely manner.
Peter Hughes, Unite Wales regional secretary said; “The leadership at Cardiff council has done nothing to resolve our members grievances. Unite has raised very serious concerns about a widespread bullying culture within the refuse and recycling department, but we are hitting a brick wall. The council must acknowledge that there is a problem, understand the impact it is having and urgently act to end it.
“This strike will cause huge disruption to refuse collections in Cardiff immediately after Christmas. Huw Thomas has the power to resolve our members grievances and prevent further strike action. The ball is firmly in his court.”