Running time: 7 mins 43 secs
***UPDATE: After six months all out strike, the council gave in and agreed to all the strike demands, in a famous victory that has inspired more refuse workers to take action up and down the country ***
HGV drivers in the refuse department of Coventry City council have been forced to go on all out indefinite strike – just to secure a regrading claim they were promised three years ago.
The highly skilled workers are paid as little as £11.39 an hour, and the maximum they can earn after 11 years service is just £14.39 an hour. Meanwhile the council are paying drivers at Tom White nearly twice that to scab on the strike – a company that is owned by the council, with negotiating chief officers on the board of directors!
Having wasted between £14 million and £16 million of council tax payers’ money on buying Tom White, the council have already spent another £3 million on trying to break the strike – when it would cost just £300,000 to resolve the dispute. They have also suspended one of the workers’ chief negotiators on trumped up charges, deputy convenor Pete Randle.
Now UNITE General Secretary Sharon Graham has suspended the 11 Labour councillors who are UNITE members – and made it clear to the council that they will be receiving no funding from UNITE for the upcoming elections.