Bromley binmen vote yes for strike action over Christmas

Bromley bins are set to be overflowing this Christmas

Bromley bins are set to be overflowing this Christmas

First published in News News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , Chief reporter

BOSSES are being urged to ‘get back around the table’ or risk rubbish piling up on the streets of Bromley this Christmas, after binmen voted for strike action.

The refuse workers returned a yes vote with 81.8 per cent voting in favour, on a 55 per cent turnout, over the sacking of four colleagues for gross misconduct.

They were fired after they took away garden waste for a woman – which is forbidden as they are only allowed to collect household waste.

In today’s News Shopper Bromley Council’s portfolio holder for the environment Councillor Colin Smith says this rubbish included 14 large bags and some chairs and weighed around 400kg.

The union says the men did not receive any money from the householder to take the rubbish away.

But a Bromley Council spokesman says it was never proved either way whether or not money changed hands.

Unite union regional officer Onay Kasab says Veolia refuses to reinstate the workers.

He said: “We have warned all along that our members would vote to defend their workmates, unjustly sacked for going the extra mile.

“This is a vote for fairness and a stand for solidarity.

“Veolia bosses can no longer stick their heads in the sand – they got it wrong – it’s time to get back around the table and give the men their jobs back.

“Bromley Council needs to stop meddling in this dispute and let Unite and Veolia settle the matter.

“If it doesn’t, it will only have its self to blame when the bins are not emptied this Christmas.”

Unite will now consult with its members before announcing strike dates, which are expected to be in the Christmas period.

A Veolia Environmental Services spokesperson said: “We can confirm that following an internal disciplinary procedure, four employees have been dismissed for collecting an excessive amount of unauthorised waste. 

"We also confirm that Bromley Council had no input into this outcome.”

And portfolio holder for the environment Councillor Colin Smith said: “It is disappointing that Unite seem hell bent on a Christmas strike despite only a quarter of Veolia’s staff supporting this. 

"Unite need to stop making misleading assertions - the dismissals were clearly Veolia’s decision and the facts are clear. 

"The crew picked up a substantial amount of waste, which they should not have done. 

"They knew this and so does the union.

"I would appeal to the better judgement of those hard working honest refuse crews as industrial action can still be avoided.”

 

Comments (8)

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5:04pm Wed 28 Nov 12

Buttercup says...

Could someone please tell Bromley Council about this as their clean and green (whatever its called) dept has just told me that they know nothing about a binmen strike!!!! On the good side if they strike at least my Mum wont be stuck in the house everytime they collect the rubbish and chuck the bins up our front path meaning those with reduced mobilty cannot get past them until someone moves them. I am also curious to know if we will have any council tax rebate as they will not be fulfilling their contract to collect our rubbish? Also why does Bromley Council deny that the binmen are going on strike? Seems odd that the NS seem to know more about what is going on than the council but then again when have Bromley council given two hoots about their residents.
Could someone please tell Bromley Council about this as their clean and green (whatever its called) dept has just told me that they know nothing about a binmen strike!!!! On the good side if they strike at least my Mum wont be stuck in the house everytime they collect the rubbish and chuck the bins up our front path meaning those with reduced mobilty cannot get past them until someone moves them. I am also curious to know if we will have any council tax rebate as they will not be fulfilling their contract to collect our rubbish? Also why does Bromley Council deny that the binmen are going on strike? Seems odd that the NS seem to know more about what is going on than the council but then again when have Bromley council given two hoots about their residents. Buttercup
  • Score: 0

6:22pm Wed 28 Nov 12

bastards says...

it makes me laugh how things change i can tell you now it was not 400kg at the start they said it was 60lts they are saying this to try and defend themselves for sacking 4 men who they thought wouldnt say boo to a ghost how wrong was they. there was no need for this to come to strike action the men addmitted they was in the wrong for taking it but there was no money involved and for them not to even get a warning i think is stupid time for them to think hard about what this strike action will mean and have the common sense to give them their jobs back !!!
it makes me laugh how things change i can tell you now it was not 400kg at the start they said it was 60lts they are saying this to try and defend themselves for sacking 4 men who they thought wouldnt say boo to a ghost how wrong was they. there was no need for this to come to strike action the men addmitted they was in the wrong for taking it but there was no money involved and for them not to even get a warning i think is stupid time for them to think hard about what this strike action will mean and have the common sense to give them their jobs back !!! bastards
  • Score: 0

7:23pm Wed 28 Nov 12

stealth1hunter says...

I have had my problems with the officials at Bromley council, NEVER the work force, The management are so far up each other they cant see any light let alone common sense. They collude and lie to help each other at the top. The 4 binmen have over 100 years experience between them. I would imagine that the senior management have had no where near as much experience, on the kerb side in freezing weather, baking summers, maggot ridden bins, broken glass in bin bags. Yet they feel they can just SACK 4 men for helping out a fellow human. Can those that made these sackings stand up and say they have NEVER BENT or BROKEN a rule to HELP someone.... Never put something in a bin bag that shouldn't, We ALL know the ANSWER and that is NO.......SO SHAME ON YOU ALL....I FULLY SUPPORT THE STRIKE AND WILL STAND ON THE PICKET LINE AND VOICE MY OPINION TOO.....
I have had my problems with the officials at Bromley council, NEVER the work force, The management are so far up each other they cant see any light let alone common sense. They collude and lie to help each other at the top. The 4 binmen have over 100 years experience between them. I would imagine that the senior management have had no where near as much experience, on the kerb side in freezing weather, baking summers, maggot ridden bins, broken glass in bin bags. Yet they feel they can just SACK 4 men for helping out a fellow human. Can those that made these sackings stand up and say they have NEVER BENT or BROKEN a rule to HELP someone.... Never put something in a bin bag that shouldn't, We ALL know the ANSWER and that is NO.......SO SHAME ON YOU ALL....I FULLY SUPPORT THE STRIKE AND WILL STAND ON THE PICKET LINE AND VOICE MY OPINION TOO..... stealth1hunter
  • Score: 0

9:41am Thu 29 Nov 12

goldenbroomboy says...

If I am reading this article correctly, the men concerned broke the rules, but took no money. Accordingly, their actions were not gross misconduct, and they should be given a written & final warning & allowed to return to work.

Also, Veolia are allegedly claiming that Bromley Council are interfering with a legitimate industrial dispute. If that is the case, then if the binmen do strike it will not be the fault of Veolia, but of Bromley Council.
If I am reading this article correctly, the men concerned broke the rules, but took no money. Accordingly, their actions were not gross misconduct, and they should be given a written & final warning & allowed to return to work. Also, Veolia are allegedly claiming that Bromley Council are interfering with a legitimate industrial dispute. If that is the case, then if the binmen do strike it will not be the fault of Veolia, but of Bromley Council. goldenbroomboy
  • Score: 0

11:36am Thu 29 Nov 12

Gypo.Joe says...

These men will NEVER get their jobs back, end of story.
Its just a matter of how much they get weighed out now to go away. You lot and me will never ever know that.
These men will NEVER get their jobs back, end of story. Its just a matter of how much they get weighed out now to go away. You lot and me will never ever know that. Gypo.Joe
  • Score: 0

8:30am Fri 30 Nov 12

martvic says...

If i am not mistaken refuse collectors are stopped tax on there tips by the goverment,also does councillor colin smith remember when all bromley dustman were made redundant only to be rehired by contractors losing there terms and conditions of employement,Maybe if councillor smith had to survive on a dustmans wages or had to do there job in all weathers he would not be anti dustman,Why not take the refuse back in house,return all the terms and conditions the dustman had along with pay rises lost along the way instead of filling the pockets of shareholders.
If i am not mistaken refuse collectors are stopped tax on there tips by the goverment,also does councillor colin smith remember when all bromley dustman were made redundant only to be rehired by contractors losing there terms and conditions of employement,Maybe if councillor smith had to survive on a dustmans wages or had to do there job in all weathers he would not be anti dustman,Why not take the refuse back in house,return all the terms and conditions the dustman had along with pay rises lost along the way instead of filling the pockets of shareholders. martvic
  • Score: 0

8:49pm Sun 2 Dec 12

beanie59 says...

These men did wrong according to their terms and conditions but to sack them for gross misconduct is wrong, Veiola/Bromley needs to get its act together, reinstate them. By the sound of it they had been loyal employees so written warnings for 12 months would be the usual way in most companies. Don't be bah humbug, its the season of goodwill!
These men did wrong according to their terms and conditions but to sack them for gross misconduct is wrong, Veiola/Bromley needs to get its act together, reinstate them. By the sound of it they had been loyal employees so written warnings for 12 months would be the usual way in most companies. Don't be bah humbug, its the season of goodwill! beanie59
  • Score: 0

9:19pm Tue 4 Dec 12

stealth1hunter says...

Do we know the date of the strike yet?
Do we know the date of the strike yet? stealth1hunter
  • Score: 0

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