Workers at Sheffield’s privatised recycling centres are in their second week of an all-out strike against cuts to opening hours and their weekly pay.
The workers are in the GMB union. They had already struck for over 22 days before escalating to an indefinite strike.
They have received support from trade unionists and the public visiting the pickets lines each day. Solidarity collections have come from workplaces and donations from unions.
“The support we’ve had is totally unexpected but very valuable,” striker Jim Rodgers told Socialist Worker. “We thought we were on our own but people are fully behind us.”
When the charity Sova took over their contract, the workers thought it would be a good employer.
They had previously seen cuts to opening hours resulting in a loss of £6,000 pay, nine jobs cut, poorer working conditions, no toilet or washing facilities and no health and safety training.
But their new employer was no better, with further cuts in opening hours and jobs for workers already on minimum wage.
Proposals for fortnightly bin collections and charging for green waste will increase the demand for the very sites which are seeing their opening hours reduced.
Strikers want reinstatement for all those made redundant, sustainable working hours and a recycling strategy for the city.
Jim said, “We’re solid, we’re determined and we’ve got total commitment to win.”
Send messages of support and donations (payable to “GMB”) c/o Pete Davies, GMB Office, 188–192 Norfolk St, Sheffield S1 1SY