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Refuse workers' pay rise after strike threat

Refuse workers employed in Bromley, Kent, by Veolia have accepted a 2% pay increase after union members threatened strike action.

About 100 members of Unite employed by the company had threatened three days of strikes after rejecting a 1% pay offer, but accepted an improved deal after talks at the conciliation service Acas.

Unite regional officer Onay Kasab said: “The threat of strike action brought the company to the Acas negotiating table, and the result is a one-year 2% pay offer on all hourly rates backdated to April 2015. We also gained a significant increase in sick pay.”

A Veolia spokesperson said: “We are pleased that by working together with Unite we have successfully resolved this situation.”

Bromley Council deputy leader Colin Smith said: “It is good to see, particularly for hard-working bin crews and residents in the run-up to Christmas, that the union has now dropped its unrealistic pay claim and called off its politically motivated threatened strike action.

“Bromley Council does not interfere in the internal processes of our contractors’ wage or disciplinary arrangements with their employees.”

The union described the agreement as a wake-up call for other companies used by local authorities in England that they do not have to adhere to chancellor George Osborne’s 1% annual pay cap for public sector workers.

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