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Second day of collection strikes planned in Wiltshire

Refuse collectors in West Wiltshire are threatening a second day of strike action in a pay dispute.

Union GMB warned the strike would take place on 22 July, followed by an overtime ban running from 23 July until 20 August, unless a deal was reached.

The towns affected would be Bradford-upon-Avon, Melksham, Trowbridge, Warminster and Westbury as well as the surrounding rural areas.

FCC Environment has a £2.2m per annum contract to run a waste and recycling service in this region. GMB claims refuse collectors have been offered a below-inflation pay rise this year.

The union will meet with managers from the contractor on Wednesday and will call off the strike on Thursday if its members accept any offer made by FCC.

Regional officer Carole Vallelly told MRW: “Telling refuse collectors that they cannot even get an inflation sized pay rise means that they’re working for less money this year, and this seems a bit unfair.”

The initial strike on 8 July led to many trucks not going out, according to the union. A week-long overtime ban also had an impact as some bin rounds can’t be finished unless binmen work overtime, according to Vallelly.

She said: “We will have a meeting of the members on Thursday morning. 

“Obviously if an offer is on the table we will be able to call off strike action if the members vote to accept.

“However, the last time the company asked for a meeting was merely to tell us again that there would be no offer, so we’re keeping our options open.”

An FCC Environment spokesperson said: “We are working hard to ensure we maintain as much of the collections service as possible during the strike action.

“We have so far managed to carry out all collections of garden and general household waste and a proportion of the plastic and card recycling collections. We are committed to maintaining services to customers during this period and refuse to comment on matters outside of our primary focus.”

  • Unite Union officials at both Croydon Council and Bromley Council called off strike threats last week after reaching a deal over pay with Veolia.

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