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Statement on community clean-ups - Brighton Cityclean strikers

Statement on community clean-ups - Brighton Cityclean strikers

A statement by striking binmen in Brighton, regarding well-intentioned 'community clean-ups' during the strike.

This is a message/statement to all those people who have been organising clean ups and/or picking up litter. We have been overwhelmed with messages from people who have been doing this and thinking it means they are being supportive. Whilst we appreciate your well-intentioned sentiments, and efforts to help our communities be clean, we feel like we need to explain how this is actually the opposite of being supportive.

A strike is used when all other methods (e.g. negotiations etc.) have failed. It is the last resort, and means that workers democratically and collectively decide to withdraw their labour (this means workers do not get paid and do not work) in order to pressure their employer to give in to their demands. With something as emotive as rubbish, we recognise that this can mean we are potentially in a strong position, as us not working is instantly noticeable and inconvenient and disruptive for people. This puts even more pressure on the employer and hopefully makes them more willing to negotiate, and change/withdraw what they are proposing. This is the whole purpose and aim of a strike. Any attempts to lessen the impact of a strike completely undermines our action. (Also, refuse collection and street cleaning can be a dirty and dangerous job. We receive training and adequate protective equipment to enable us to do this safely and we certainly do not want any residents to be injured by carrying out our work for free.)

We wholly recognise that Brighton is not a pleasant place to be at the moment, and we apologise to all residents for the state of our city and for the inconvenience caused to you by this disruption. However, please remember that we are residents here too, and we also would like to live in a clean city and return to doing our work as soon as possible to make this the case. But the council are threatening to cut our take home pay by a substantial amount of money and we feel this is the only course of action left available to us to defend our wages. Therefore, if you would like to support us, the best thing you can do is to support us in our action - which means not carrying out the work that we would normally do. This will add to the pressure on the council to withdraw their threats to cut our pay. Hopefully then the strike can be over as soon as possible - which is the thing we can all agree that we all want - and we can return to our jobs and get working on getting our city cleaned up again. Thank you for your support.

Posted By

Joseph Kay
Jun 18 2013 08:08

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  • If you would like to support us, the best thing you can do is to support us in our action - which means not carrying out the work that we would normally do.

    The Cityclean strikers

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Comments

ClareG
Jun 18 2013 15:53

Maybe those 'scabs' who you think are purposely trying to undermine you are taking action to prevent wildlife from being harmed by your reckless action.

But yes of course, humans are the MOST important species, right?

Steven.
Jun 18 2013 16:15
ClareG wrote:
Maybe those 'scabs' who you think are purposely trying to undermine you are taking action to prevent wildlife from being harmed by your reckless action.

But yes of course, humans are the MOST important species, right?

please provide some evidence of the harm to wildlife caused by rubbish collection being delayed.

(In fact, a fair bit of wildlife like rats and foxes would love it! The biggest problems for uncollected waste our for humans)

fingers malone
Jun 18 2013 16:24

I've heard the seagulls have all joined GMB because of it.

Mr. Jolly
Jun 18 2013 17:39
ClareG wrote:
Maybe those 'scabs' who you think are purposely trying to undermine you are taking action to prevent wildlife from being harmed by your reckless action.

But yes of course, humans are the MOST important species, right?

I am too concerned, with all the decadent human garbage that is being stockpiled for wildlife in Brighton streets. I fear that such a situation could lead to an entire generation of foxes ending up in debased, addicted and drug addled lives, hooked on our detritus.

Joseph Kay
Jun 18 2013 18:41

The statement doesn't refer to scabs, and acknowledges many 'community clear-uppers' are well-intentioned, even supportive. Btw I didn't write it and don't work for Cityclean, I just reposted it here from Facebook.

Fwiw the foxes and seagulls up my way seem to think it's xmas. If there are genuine environmental issues there might be ways to address them without undermining the strike. The quickest way to resolve this is of course for the council to withdraw the massive and unnecessary pay cuts for Cityclean staff.

EddieC
Jun 19 2013 07:32

ClareG, the refuse workers haven't referred to anyone as 'scabs', the fact that you would try to use such misleading language leads me to question what your agenda is. The fact that you believe someone refusing to work in the face of a huge pay cut is 'reckless' also leads me to the same question.

Joseph, reverse IP check this woman if you can, I would not be surprised at all to find this is a council employee - it certainly wouldn't be the first time in recent history.

no1
Jun 19 2013 18:22
EwanValentine wrote:
It's funny that, see I've heard from people who've actually spoken to some of the council workers in Brighton and I hear it's a very different story. Everyone just assumes that it's the binmen themselves getting a 4k pay cut, well apparently only 3 people are getting the top rate of cuts, and they aren't bin men, they're execs and administrators who are paid quite well, the binmen on average I hear are getting a £5 per week cut.

This is where I stopped reading your fucking lies. There's 10 people out of 260 who are affected by the £4K pay cut, i.e. about 3% not 3 people. They are not execs they are HGV drivers on £19K. The average loss is £2K i.e. £40 per week.

I think you're full of shit, you haven't spoken to anyone, all this information is pretty well known to anyone who wants to find out.

fingers malone
Jun 19 2013 18:45

Forty pounds per week is a massive cut and will mean a lot of people can't manage and will start going into debt. Bearing in mind with the situation as it is, a lot of working class people who are working, are helping out relatives and loved ones who are not.
Also, all this rubbish that people are so offended by having to look at is what the binmen look at all day every day. My friend told me that when he finished his shift, "I close my eyes and all I see is rubbish."

Ed
Jun 19 2013 23:02
EwanValentine wrote:
but notice this, if this happened in the private sector, do you think there would be a strike? No! The show must go on!

Aha! You've got 'em there.. private sector workers are treated like shit, so public sector workers should also be treated like shit! In the name of equality!

Funnily enough, this bin depot was actually part of the private sector in 2001, when the private owners (SITA) tried to fuck these bin workers around.. they didn't stand for it then, either and that's when it got taken back in-house by the council.. so your public vs. private bollocks can fuck right off!

EwanValentine wrote:
If they really don't like their jobs, why don't they quit?

Reading this, I can only assume you neither follow the news nor have any friends or family because there's an economic crisis at the moment and jobs aren't exactly falling off trees.. as such, it probably makes much more sense for these guys to defend the jobs they have then to walk off and try to find another one.. why don't you leave your job and see if you can find a new one on the same terms and conditions?