Industrial action hitting waste collection extended into November
Ted Peskett, local democracy reporter
Strike action which has affected waste collection in Cardiff for over a month is set to continue.
Unite said that its members at Cardiff Council will continue to strike from October 16 until November 26.
The strikes, which are over nationally-negotiated pay awards, started on September 4 and have seen green mixed recycling bags piling up on some of Cardiff’s streets.
Food waste and black bin bag collections will remain unaffected throughout the new period of strike action unless the council announces otherwise in the coming weeks.
Collection of garden waste and hygiene waste has been affected by the strikes, however the council did say that hygiene waste which cannot be stored can be placed alongside black bin bags for fortnightly collection.
Conservative Cardiff Council ward member for Rhiwbina, Cllr Jayne Cowan, said: “I have received a number of messages from residents who are very concerned with the lack of waste collections.
“Particularly hygiene and garden waste. I hope that the strikes will end soon and that normal service can resume.
“I would like to thank the staff who are working for their help and hard work. It is appreciated.”
Cardiff Council last week asked all residents, apart from those living in Rumney, Trowbridge, Lisvane and Llanrumney, to bring their green mixed recycling bags back inside and put them back out for collection on the next scheduled general waste collection day.
Recycling collections are expected to remain unchanged for residents living in the areas using sacks and glass caddies. During the strike people will be allowed to bring their mixed recycling bags and garden waste to the city’s recycling centres if an appointment is made.
The leader of the Liberal Democrats group at Cardiff Council, Cllr Rodney Berman, said: “This is clearly causing a degree of disruption to waste collection services in the city so I think it’s important that the council’s leadership considers doing what it can to bring this strike to an end.
“Pay rates are traditionally negotiated nationally, so I would therefore urge our council leadership to liaise with their colleagues across local government in order to attempt to reach a resolution to this dispute as soon as possible.”
The only other Welsh local authority which is being affected by the Unite strike action is Wrexham. Unite representatives from across the UK met in Cardiff on Thursday October 5 in what the union called a show of solidarity.
Unite national officer, Clare Keogh, said: “Unite activists from across the UK are meeting in Cardiff to plan action to tackle endemic poverty pay across local government.
“Unite members are united and strike action will escalate over the coming months.”
All of the Cardiff Council meetings which were scheduled to take place during the week commencing September 25 were cancelled.
The council meetings scheduled to take place between October 2 and October 12 have been postponed and two scrutiny committees, one scheduled to take place on October 16 and another on October 17, have been cancelled.
A Cardiff Council spokesperson said: “The Council’s ability to hold formal decision-making meetings during the strike period is being kept under review. The dates for meetings will be posted on the Council’s website as usual”.
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