Residents have complained of the smell and sight of rubbish bags piled high in the city. Bin men in Brighton have been on strike for seven days, as
Residents have complained of the smell and sight of rubbish bags piled high in the city. Bin men in Brighton have been on strike for seven days, as of Tuesday, with unions warning they could demonstrate for another five weeks.
The GMB union called the action over changes of duties, drivers being removed from long-standing rounds and pay.
Bin men working for firm Cityclean had initially planned to return to work to clear the streets before striking again between October 21 and November 3.
However, they now say they will not return until the middle of next month after talks between GMB representatives and the Green Party-led Brighton City Council collapsed.
Council officials called their offer “significant and generous” and urged GMB to think again.
Councillor Hannah Clare, deputy leader of the council, said higher pay had been offered in a “positive attempt to recognise the hard work” of bin men.
She said: “We’re disappointed that the GMB walked out of the room before discussing this offer with us.
“We believe that discussion is crucial.
Only by staying around the table can a good outcome can be reached, both for staff and for residents of our city.”
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Mark Turner, general secretary of GMB’s Sussex branch, said the latest offer had “gone backwards” from the previous one and accused the council of issuing “propaganda”.
He added: “They presented their offer which we left on the basis it’s gone backwards.
“It’s worse than the situation we started in.
“They need to improve the offer. They’re not even meeting us halfway.”
Residents told The Sun they are shocked and disgusted by the “stench” of the bins piled on the streets.
One said: “This is a public health risk and, on this basis alone, there should be decisive intervention.
“I saw rats scurrying away from overflowing bins in Hove.
“Another lamentable failure by officialdom in this city.”
Jamie Lloyd, deputy chair of Brighton & Hove City Council’s environment, transport and sustainability committee, apologised for the build-up of waste caused by the ongoing dispute.
He said: “It’s an appalling situation and we are dedicated to getting this sorted out as quickly as possible.”
However, he claimed the demands of the union would lead to “catastrophic cuts in other services”.
Government legislation forbids the use of agency workers to replace striking staff.