Unite the union, which represents hundreds of members at Bristol Waste, has described revelations that the company has spent £25,000 on pantomime tickets as “resembling “a bribe”, as the union is currently engaged in a pay dispute with the company.

Bristol Waste is a wholly owned subsidiary of Bristol council and employs around 600 people to undertake refuse collection, street cleaning and recycling in the city.

Highly Profitable

The company is highly profitable, its turnover increased from £15 million in 2016 to £28 million in 2017, with its pre-tax profits rising from £2 million to £3 million during this time.

Despite the company making profits worth £5,600 per employee, it has refused to make a decent pay offer. The company initially offered a 1.5 per cent increase which was then increased to 2 per cent. Unite is seeking an increase in line with the retail price index (RPI) which currently stands at 3.3 per cent.

Rather than increase the pay offer it has emerged that Bristol Waste has purchased 600 tickets for its staff to see Cinderella at the Bristol Hippodrome.

Trying to bribe our members

Unite South West regional secretary Steve Preddy said: “By bulk buying pantomime tickets it looks like Bristol Waste is trying to bribe our members to accept a below inflation pay increase.

“The two per cent pay offer currently on offer is in effect a real terms pay cut. Bristol Waste is a highly profitable company and can entirely afford to give our members a fair pay increase.

“Our members are dedicated to keeping Bristol clean and tidy and their hard work should be rewarded with a proper pay increase, rather than being fobbed off with free panto tickets.

“It is deeply ironic and disappointing that Bristol Waste is acting like a scrooge employer at the time of year when workers’ budgets often come under the most strain as people prepare for Christmas.

“Of course workers welcome a Christmas party or outing but not at the expense of their pay.

“Bristol Waste needs to drop its tawdry gimmicks and get back round the table and offer a fair pay rise.”


Notes to editors

Bristol Post: Bristol Waste spends 25k on pantomime tickets

For more information please contact Unite communications officer Barckley Sumner on 020 3371 2067 or 07802 329235.

  • Unite represents workers in Britain and Ireland with members across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.