Refuse workers in Bexley won a victory this week as they were "guaranteed sick pay", after taking to the streets in protest.

The workers from Serco, which is contracted for bin services by Bexley Council, say they have been forced to choose between feeding their families or protecting them from the virus.

Members of Unite union took to protest yesterday (March 18) outside Bexley Serco depot.

Employees demonstrated their upset over the lack of sick pay provisions, whilst handling rubbish during the coronavirus outbreak.

Employees are reportedly on rates as low as £8.90 per hour, working on zero-hour contracts.

An employee, who asked to remain anonymous, expressed his upset to News Shopper: “It is disgusting, we work out in all weathers to keep Bexley a clean and safer place.

“We get treated like just a number and not an employee from Serco.

“They are an absolute joke of a company and don’t care about the employees at all.”

Refuse workers agreed to postpone their industrial action after a massive victory led to Bexley and Serco guaranteeing sick pay provisions.

A spokesperson from Unite said: “Our members collecting refuse and street cleansing in Bexley are at the front line of the current public health crisis.

“They have been striking because of poverty wages and no sick pay.

“However, today workers have decided to go back to work after securing guarantees from Bexley Council and Serco on PPE and full sick pay for those affected by the virus.

“We are awaiting further reassurances from the council and Serco for agency workers who may be forced to self-isolate.

“And for our members who suffer long-term health conditions or cannot get to work because of transport or childcare issues.

“Bexley residents should know that our members will continue to do their best to provide a service during this crisis despite continuing to suffer from very low rates of pay.”

Workers are to protest about zero-hour contracts, full statutory sick pay and pay to equal to their Greenwich counterparts, at a later date.