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28 July 2021

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Bexley bin workers strike for better pay

Bexley bin workers on strike, March 2020, photo Rob Williams

Bexley bin workers on strike, March 2020, photo Rob Williams   (Click to enlarge)

Berkay Kartav, South East London Socialist Party

Bexley bin workers have now been entered their third week of industrial action, with more strike action planned in August, effectively going indefinite.

Running the refuse and cleansing service on behalf of Bexley council, private company Serco has offered a measly 1.5% pay rise - which was rejected by workers - and it refuses to hand over the back pay it owes to 50 workers.

Outrageously, Serco has also failed to include refuse staff on a stipulated pay progression scale, which means workers doing exactly the same job are paid differently by the company.

Since the beginning of the strike, refuse workers have also been appalled by heavy-handed policing against workers who, not wanting to let refuse trucks cross the picket line, walked and stood on the zebra crossing in front of the depot in Crayford.

At the same time, the police have turned a blind eye to overloaded trucks that are a safety hazard! They have shown that they are on the side of private companies such as Serco, not the workers.

Living wage?

Serco's contract with Bexley council will expire in October, and another outsourcing company, Countrystyle Recycling, will replace it. The council has said that workers will be paid the London Living Wage (10.85 an hour) when they are transferred to new contracts, which is an increase of 50p an hour. But even this is not enough. Refuse workers in Greenwich earn a minimum of 13 an hour.

On 21 July, Socialist Party members joined the protest organised by Unite outside Bexley Civic Offices, as the council is dodging responsibility even though it is handing out contracts for council services.

Serco shouldn't just be replaced by another private company. We call for all outsourced services to be brought back in-house, and an end to privatisation in local government and across the public sector.

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In The Socialist 28 July 2021:


Labour expulsions confirm need for new mass workers' party

'Pingdemic' exemptions

Tories and Labour fail on child poverty

Nationality and borders bill

London floods: Privatisation and heavy rain are a dangerous mix

Jobs and homes for all


Cuban protests - what do they represent?

Flood devastation in Europe

Israel: Hospital ancillary workers' strike suspended

In brief: News, reports & analysis from the CWI

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Public sector pay - Prepare for action!

Unite to fight Tory pay insults

New left NEC meets - Organise the fight back now

Government departments move to impose pay cuts

Further education set for industrial action over pay

Trade union

Sheffield Uni UCU fights archaeological dept closure

Bexley bin workers strike for better pay

Fight Freeports to stop bonfire of workers' rights


Thousands march to Reclaim Pride

Tower Hamlets Labour backs Tory cuts

East London resident fighting eviction again

Barnsley 'Big Green Space' protest

Youth Fight for Jobs is officially relaunched

Selling the Socialist

Scottish socialist breaks running record

Readers' Opinion

TV Review: Stateless blames mismanagement rather than system


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Related links:

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Refuse workers:

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Article dated 28 July 2021

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CWI rally, Sunday 26 September 2021, 14-00. Youtube.com/CWImedia

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