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Veolia in talks with union to avoid strike action

Waste management company Veolia has said that it has “no intention” of making municipal employees redundant, despite having an issued an HR1 form to some regional employees in its local authority PFI contracts.

Yesterday the GMB union, which represents many Veolia workers, issued a statement saying it would ballot members for strike action if meetings with the company did not prevent staff and pay cuts. This has prompted fear among members of the public that waste and recycling bins will not be collected in some areas if municipal refuse workers do strike.

The GMB says that workers have received 90 days’ notice of Veolia’s intention to make them “redundant, dismiss them and re-engage them on lesser terms and conditions” following the issue of the HR1 form.

GMB national officer Rehana Azam said: “What Veolia is doing is completely unacceptable and will not be accepted by the many GMB members working on these contracts. Veolia management’s decision to make their employees bear the brunt of the squeeze on Government funding is just not on.”

However, in today’s statement Veolia has responded to these claims by saying that it issued the HR1 form to give notification of its intention to consolidate its workforce under one company name, Veolia (ES) UK.

A spokesperson said: “We value our relationship with the trade unions, including the GMB, and will be consulting with them closely during a series of three pre-agreed meetings in the next few days.

“We have no intention of making municipal employees redundant, dismiss them or re-engage them on lesser terms and conditions.”

The GMB says that Veolia issued the HR1 form to 196 local authorities.

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