BINMEN have voted unanimously to go on strike.

A GMB ballot result showed that 100 per cent of the members who voted were in favour of the walk out.

As a result, Brighton’s Cityclean, recycling, commercial waste and HGV drivers will go on strike for two-weeks.       

The strike was triggered by a dispute over pay and working conditions.

GMB are calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to settle an ongoing dispute around unilateral imposed daily changes and removal of drivers from long standing rounds. 

GMB Southern says the leader and chief executive of the council must “stop burying their heads in the sand and take notice of the seriousness of the dispute”.

The first of a number of strike dates will be over a two-week period from October 5.

GMB B50 branch secretary Mark Turner said: “I am sure the council will want people to believe that this is just the GMB union and its members causing disruption once again, but the truth is that this avoidable dispute is completely as of a result of the councils own making.

“They have been told time and time again about the service issues and detriment to our members health and well-being resulting around tinkering with well-established rounds and moving of HGV drivers outside of their own council formal procedures, yet they ignored our members and workplace reps’ complaints allowing it to go on anyway.”

The Argus: A GMB ballot result showed that 100 per cent of the members who voted were in favour of strike actionA GMB ballot result showed that 100 per cent of the members who voted were in favour of strike action

Gary Palmer, GMB regional organiser, said the council has had “plenty of time” to resolve the issue.

“Recently I spoke with one of our GMB members who hit the nail on the head when he told me, ‘I doubt they will listen to us seriously until we stand out on the picket line at the gates to the Hollingdean depot, they never do’,” he said.

A statement from GMB says the council has a two-week grace period before these strikes happens.

Following the announcement, Brighton and Hove City Council restated its “continuous commitment” to work with the trade unions and staff to resolve the dispute and “provide a good service to residents”.

A council spokesman said Covid-19 had a “detrimental impact on the health of Cityclean staff”.  

“The country also now faces a national shortage of HGV drivers due mainly to EU HGV drivers no longer being able to obtain visas to work in the UK,” he said.

“Combined, we know these factors have created pressure within the Cityclean service and we thank all Cityclean staff who have continued to work incredibly hard in these challenging and unprecedented times.”

The spokesman said to provide the best service for the city, there has been occasions where “it’s felt appropriate to make crew changes or move a member of staff from one round or crew to another”.

“We believe these requests are made openly and fairly and any concerns about round changes are quickly responded to by managers,” he said.

“We take the concerns of staff seriously, which has seen officers make a number of recent commitments and offers to GMB and drivers for them to consider.”

According to the council, meetings are planned for the coming weeks, where they hope to mutually agree a resolution, avoid industrial action and achieving their shared vision.

“We look forward to being able to continue these discussions with the GMB and once again reiterate our commitment to finding a positive resolution for both staff and the city,” the spokesman added.