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Bromley binmen set to strike after Veolia Environmental Services fires four
BROMLEY could be facing a prolonged series of strikes this winter after four binmen were sacked yesterday (October 3).
The threat comes after around 100 workers held a protest at the Veolia Environmental Services depot in Baths Road, Bromley, this morning.
They refused to leave the depot until their union official Onay Kasab met with the management about the issue.
This meant the crews did not leave until around 10am, about three hours after most of them were supposed to have left.
The dispute arose after their four colleagues, who had around 100 years experience between them, were fired for gross misconduct after an internal investigation.
They were photographed by a Bromley Council worker while putting a bag of garden waste in to the back of their refuse vehicle.
Workers at the protest told News Shopper their colleagues had been asked to do this by a homeowner and did not take any money in exchange.
But it is understood Veolia, which collects household rubbish on behalf of Bromley Council, believes money did change hands so fired the crew.
Mr Kasab (pictured), the regional officer for Unite, said: “We are not into Mickey Mouse one day strikes.
“If we get a yes vote for our strike ballot we will be taking prolonged action until the men are reinstated.
“We think it’s ridiculous that over this allegation that they should be dismissed.
“They are exceptionally hard working lads and they are a loss to Veolia.
“The employers need to take note of this morning’s action and we will get a yes vote for strike action.”
Mr Kasab added: “The witness evidence for the allegation isn’t there, let alone the argument you should sack someone for this type of offence.
“Is it reasonable to dismiss binmen for this allegation but on the most minimal of evidence?
“That being said, we do not believe that even if they were found guilty of this allegation, we do not believe they should be dismissed.”
If the binmen say yes to strike action the strikes could start in mid-November.
A Veolia Environmental Services spokesman said: “The unofficial stoppage of work this morning was caused by a local issue relating to an incident involving some employees.
"All services went out by mid-morning and collections took place as normal.
"We will continue to consult and work closely with our employees and the union regarding this matter going forward.”