Unite, the UK and Ireland’s largest union, has welcomed a decision by controversial outsourcer Serco not to reduce the number of refuse rounds being undertaken in Sandwell council.

Workplace concerns

Strike action seemed likely late last year after Serco, which holds the refuse contract for Sandwell council, announced that it intended to cut the number of refuse rounds and increase the number of bins each worker is expected to empty.

The proposed changes would have resulted in the workforce having to cope with unmanageable workloads.

Proposals dropped

Following intense pressure from the unions, led by Unite, which is the largest union at the workplace, Serco has now officially dropped its proposals.

Also, as part of the agreement, 60 workers who were on fixed term contracts have now become permanent employees.

Good news for Sandwell

Unite regional officer Sharon Harding said: “This announcement is good news for Sandwell residents and the Serco workforce.

 “It will mean that refuse will continue to be collected in Sandwell without disruption.”

 “The deal demonstrates what can be achieved through negotiations.

 “Now that this issue has been resolved Unite looks forward to developing constructive industrial relations with Serco moving forward in the future.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

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

Email: barckley.sumner@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.