Bexley refuse workers, employed by controversial outsourcing giant Serco, will stage a demonstration tonight (Monday 27 January) over low wages and a bullying culture.

About 120 refuse depot workers, members of Unite, Britain and Ireland’s largest union, will protest outside the Bexley council cabinet meeting over the authority’s contract with Serco which sees the workforce earning about £4 an hour less than their counterparts in Greenwich.

The protest will be held at the council’s civic offices, Watling Street, Bexleyheath, DA6 7AT at 19.00 tonight (Monday 27 January).

Unite regional officer Ruth Hydon said: “Our members do a physically exhausting job working long and unsocial hours. They have to work when they are sick or face being unable to pay their bills and, on top of that, they are bullied by managers. ‘Enough is enough’.

“Our members are currently on £8.90 or £9.15 an hour for working 42 hours a week – we are demanding at least £13 an hour which is what similar workers in next door Greenwich are being paid.

“The other issues, which need to be urgently addressed, include the lack of  sick pay, a culture of managerial bullying, unsafe working practices, and a continued failure to deal with grievances in a fair and timely fashion.

“We hope this protest will focus councillors’ minds on the legitimate complaints of our members who are out in all weathers serving the people of Bexley.

“Bexley council should be making sure Serco is paying a wage our members can live on.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

For more information please contact Unite senior communications officer Shaun Noble on 020 3371 2060 or 07768 693940. Unite press office is on:  020 3371 2065. Email: shaun.noble@unitetheunion.org

  • Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest union with members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.