Refuse collectors in Bexley borough are to go on strike for two weeks after a new outsourcing company Countrystyle hits trouble with staff months after taking over from Serco.
The dispute is set to see workers walk off from 12th July.
Two issues are at play in the dispute. One is that workers could formerly head home when finishing their rounds. The Unite union claims workers are no longer allowed to do so.
Another is pay rises with inflation at 40 year highs. Unite are seeking a payrise in line with RPI inflation. Staff are being offered two per cent.
It’s only a few months since strikes with the previously outsourcing company used by Bexley Council. Serco were replaced with CountryStyle in 2021.
Bexley have long had fortnightly collections and charged for waste containers. Earlier today it was revealed Greenwich will move some refuse collections to fortnightly, but not all. Greenwich have not outsourced their refuse collection service.
They have however been moving to outsourcing in some areas, including town centre enforcement staff which sees a private company retain the vast bulk of any fines issued.
They also outsourced car parking enforcement in places to Wing Security which saw the private company retain all revenue from fines. Much income was potentially lost. That has now been brought back in-house.
UPDATE: Bexley Council have issued a brief statement that can be seen here.