Refuse workers, employed by Bexley Council contractor, Serco, took to protest this week over low wages and a "bullying culture".

Members of Unite union protested outside Bexley council's cabinet meeting.

Protesters and the union have highlighted that Bexley’s contract with Serco sees the workforce earning an average of £4 an hour less than their counterparts in Greenwich.

A spokesman for Unite said: “Our members do a physically exhausting job working long and unsociable hours.

“They have to work when they are sick or face being unable to pay their bills and, on top of that, they are bullied by managers.

“Enough is enough.

“Our members are currently on £8.90 or £9.15 an hour for working 42 hours a week – we are demanding at least £13 an hour which is what similar workers in next door Greenwich are being paid.

“The other issues, which need to be urgently addressed, include the lack of sick pay, a culture of managerial bullying, unsafe working practices, and a continued failure to deal with grievances in a fair and timely fashion.

“We hope this protest will focus councillor’s minds on the legitimate complaints of our members who are out in all weathers serving the people of Bexley.

“Bexley council should be making sure Serco is paying a wage our members can live on.”

A spokesman for the Council said:
"Some Unite members protested outside the Cabinet meeting at the Civic Offices earlier this week (January 28 ) but it did not disrupt proceedings.

"We have not been formally notified of a dispute by either Serco or the trade unions and as such we are not in a position to comment further at this stage."

Councillor David Leaf, who was presenting at the time of the protest said: 
“We are investigating whether there was damage done to the Council building.

"If so, we will be invoicing them as we don’t expect our hardworking and law-abiding taxpayers to pick up the cost of their petulant and attention-seeking behaviour.”