More than 90 per cent of a firm’s binmen have voted in favour of strike action in a row with bosses over their treatment.

Workers based in Wealden could go on strike over alleged “bullying tactics” as well as a disagreement over kerbside collection issues, according to union GMB.

More than 75 per cent of workers responded to the union’s ballot for strike action and 90.7 per cent of those said they were prepared to go on strike against Biffa, which runs the service for Wealden District Council.

It means at least two weeks of action could come as soon as mid-May, almost a year after workers were awarded up to a 27 per cent pay rise.

The Argus: From left, Carl Turner, Declan MacIntyre and Gary Palmer outside Brighton Magistrates' Court last monthFrom left, Carl Turner, Declan MacIntyre and Gary Palmer outside Brighton Magistrates' Court last month (Image: The Argus)

Declan Macintyre, GMB regional organiser, said: “At our meeting with management a few weeks ago we informed the company of the ongoing issues, we are told change is coming which would be great if only we hadn’t already been told that in May and June last year.

“So, we have completed the legal requirements ballot wise and now at a meeting with members on the evening of April 19, they will decide if steps over the last week or so are sufficient for them to believe that change is happening, that the bullies will be dealt with by the company, and that their suggestions over round re-designs will be listened to and acted upon.

“If not, then unfortunately we will issue strikes notices for a minimum of two weeks and we will see once again Wealden residents facing significant disruptions to kerbside collections of waste and recycling services.”

Gary Palmer, GMB organiser, said: “Since the dispute, they have harassed our members as a result of it. We and our members have been patient.

“But now we’re saying enough is enough, we need to be able to work without fear of being threatened, given a file note [warning], threat of losing our job. It’s all a result of the dispute where they won a fair and significant pay rise."

The Argus revealed that workers could go on strike again earlier this month.

A Wealden District Council spokeswoman said: “This is a local dispute between Biffa and a number of their employees who are members of the GMB Union. 

“The council is monitoring the situation closely and fully expects Biffa and the union to continue the constructive talks that have already taken place and reach a negotiated outcome, which avoids any disruption to waste collection services or inconvenience to residents.”

Biffa met with GMB on April 4.

A spokesman said: “We are working closely with Wealden District Council and the trade union to avoid any potential industrial action.”