SOLIHULL’S refuse collectors could take industrial action over a pay dispute.
More than 100 members of the GMB Union who are employed by private contractors Amey Services Limited have until March 4 to cast their vote on industrial action.
GMB Union said if the action goes ahead, refuse and recycling services for Solihull Council – including Bickenhill waste tip and recycling centre, local cemeteries, street cleansing, parks and more than 86,000 households will be affected.
Dave Warwick, GMB organiser, said: “Inflation is rampant, we’re in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis and these workers are massively in demand.
“These refuse collectors have worked right through the pandemic – all they want is pay rise to keep them in line with the industry average.”
An Amey spokesperson said, “We are immensely proud of our frontline employees who have continued to deliver essential services throughout the pandemic, including our waste teams in Solihull.
“We are disappointed that current discussions with GMB have resulted in the decision to ballot strike action with GMB members, given that they were made aware of our intentions last month to implement the real living wage from April 1.
“However, we respect the ballot process and are committed to working collaboratively with the GMB to reach a resolution as we continue to support our employees and minimise disruption to the local community.”
The firm added last year it aligned salaries with the real living wage and increased pay for employees working on the Solihull contract and in recognition of the national driver shortage implemented one out of cycle pay increase for its drivers.
Solihull Council said the matter was for Amey and its workforce and it would be inappropriate for the authority to comment.
This comes as refuse collectors in neighbouring Coventry began a two-month strike last Monday in a row over pay.