Haringey refuse collectors on indefinite strike -- picket

Submitted by the button on August 1, 2006

http://www.tgwu.org.uk/Templates/RegionNews.asp?Action=Display&NodeID=92704

A long-running dispute over cuts to the refuse collection service in the London Borough of Haringey boiled over into indefinite strike action today.

Workers rejected an offer of £1,450 each to accept taking two refuse collection vehicles off the road. The Transport and General Workers Union confirmed this morning that no refuse collection vehicles had gone out as a result of the forty eight Haringey Accord workers' strike over safety.

Picket at Ashley Road depot.

Very rare to see a group of workers taking indefinite strike action nowadays -- and they voted unanimously for it, too.

Steven.

17 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by Steven. on August 1, 2006

the button

Picket at Ashley Road depot.

Very rare to see a group of workers taking indefinite strike action nowadays -- and they voted unanimously for it, too.

Shit that is rare. Hackney went on one or two 24-hr strikes a few months ago, don't know the result...

Will the pickets just be in the mornings?

Submitted by the button on August 1, 2006

No idea. There's contact details at the bottom though. Might be worth speaking to the press officer for libcom newswire purposes.

coffeemachine

17 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by coffeemachine on August 1, 2006

time for class struggle anarchists in london to express their politics beyond the internet, no?

Submitted by the button on August 1, 2006

coffeemachine

time for class struggle anarchists in london to express their politics beyond the internet, no?

Could happen. :wink:

the button

17 years 10 months ago

In reply to by ftony

Submitted by the button on August 1, 2006

ftony

careful now

You bastard! I've been looking for that picture since the dawn of the internet. :cry:

Submitted by ftony on August 1, 2006

:grin:

i just google-imaged 'father ted down with this sort of thing'

Submitted by coffeemachine on August 1, 2006

Jack

coffeemachine

time for class struggle anarchists in london to express their politics beyond the internet, no?

Yes, I'm sure those of us in the refuse collection business will be manning the picket lines.

you're a worker, you can't support other workers in struggle? Solidarity is just a word to share across bulletin boards?

For those interested profits for accord plc were up from £5m (in 2003) to £6.1m in 2004 (don't seem to have 2005 figures).

Submitted by Steven. on August 1, 2006

Jack

I'm splitting this pre-emptively.

This is an important issue, and I'm not under any circumstances allowing the thread to turn into a chance for some politicos who have a problem with libcom group to derail it.

...If I can work out how to split on the new forums. :oops:

We can't split threads any more. If "coffeemachine" (why don't you use your real name, by the way? you aren't fooling anyone) continues to derail it with petty strawman snipes they will be deleted. Forum software being the way it is at the moment this is how we are going to have to deal with off-topic trolling.

Submitted by the button on August 1, 2006

coffeemachine

you're a worker, you can't support other workers in struggle? Solidarity is just a word to share across bulletin boards?

For those interested profits for accord plc were up from £5m (in 2003) to £6.1m in 2004 (don't seem to have 2005 figures).

The first post may have been a bit snide, but I think this one asks a reasonable question -- although maybe more one for Thought than Organise.

Unless this is someone you two had a row with in 2002, or something. :wink:

Edited to add: And as I recall, threads about the nature & extent of solidarity always turn into 15-page slanging matches. :grin:

coffeemachine

17 years 10 months ago

In reply to by libcom.org

Submitted by coffeemachine on August 1, 2006

agreed important issue. Doubtless people will be putting their experiences and resources to good use supporting the strike.

Submitted by Red Marriott on August 1, 2006

What is the conflict about here? Surely Jack doesn't feel he can't go down to the picket line cos he's not a dustmen?

Submitted by Lazy Riser on August 1, 2006

Hi

I am interested in ensuring a win...

Workers rejected an offer of £1,450 each to accept taking two refuse collection vehicles off the road. The Transport and General Workers Union confirmed this morning that no refuse collection vehicles had gone out as a result of the forty eight Haringey Accord workers' strike over safety.

Excellent. What is it they would like instead?

Love

LR

Submitted by Lazy Riser on August 1, 2006

Hi

Is it cheaper to take two vehicles off the road than to pay everyone £1450? Why is the employer making this proposal?

Love

LR

Submitted by pepe carvalho on August 1, 2006

i was working this morning, but i shall indeavour to visit the picketline tomorrow morning and get a report from the workers

post what questions you'd like me to ask them here

:rb:

Submitted by jef costello on August 1, 2006

Today is bin day, last time they missed a collection my neighbours covered their entire driveway with rubbish and so did all the flats.
I might try to get along to the picket though.

Submitted by pepe carvalho on August 1, 2006

Jack

Seriously tho, could you knock up a quick interview, why they're striking, what they want, how they agreed to indefinate action etc. etc. for the site?

i'll do what i can, post it on here then one of you can put it on the news section or whatever it is you do

Submitted by libcom on August 1, 2006

didn't get to this picket. But all the cleaners and porters down at my local hospital were on strike today as well - went in to accident and emergency with a fucking big lump of crap in my eye almost unable to see, and then on the way out saw a picket of about 30 people on either side of the entrance and had a nice chat with them. Been out since Friday, full turn out, no-one crossing (well, no cleaners and porters who are members of Unison and employed by Rentokil crossing anyway), everyone on the picket for their shift from 6am to 6pm every day, back again tomorrow.

Trying to get close to a 20% pay raise (from c.£5 - c.£6/hour plus extra £54 london weighting - that might be wrong - I'm typing with one eye shut and leaflet they gave me looked a bit blurry when I read it) in line with every other London hospital. They don't think they'll get any of it but were pretty upbeat anyway.

Submitted by Lazy Riser on August 1, 2006

Hi

I see Haringey Accord are daft enough to put the email addresses of their senior staff on their web site...

http://www.haringeyaccord.com/stub.asp?SectionID=25

If would terrible if they started spamming people with porn, or even to be accidently signed up to something nasty by a nefarious so-and-so. I can't imagine who would try such a thing.

Enjoy.

Love

LR

Submitted by the button on August 2, 2006

Lazy Riser

If would terrible if they started spamming people with porn, or even to be accidently signed up to something nasty by a nefarious so-and-so. I can't imagine who would try such a thing.

Enjoy.

Love

LR

It would also be terrible if anyone with a dial-up connection put one of their phone numbers in as their ISP provider, set their 'puter to check their e-mails every 20 minutes, and then went to bed. Imagine -- coming to work to 200 voice mail messages of handshake noise. Poor bosses. :sad:

Submitted by ftony on August 2, 2006

hehe very nice folks :cool:

i'm going down as official dude from london IWW on friday morning. i'll be at tottenham hale tube at 9am if anyone fancies it.

you don't have to be a member of the IWW to come with me, but if you value your kneecaps i'd recommend it :bb: :wink:

Submitted by ftony on August 2, 2006

Is it cheaper to take two vehicles off the road than to pay everyone £1450?

in the long term, it probably makes sense, if you think of road tax, maintenance, fuel, etc.

Submitted by Steven. on August 2, 2006

ftony

Is it cheaper to take two vehicles off the road than to pay everyone £1450?

in the long term, it probably makes sense, if you think of road tax, maintenance, fuel, etc.

Wouldn't the vehicles be shorthand for "workers"?

Submitted by ftony on August 2, 2006

good point, didn't think of that

Steven= :kropotkin:

PS people aren't making enough use of the smilies at the bottom of the list. shame on you :wall:

Submitted by Joseph Kay on August 2, 2006

ftony

people aren't making enough use of the smilies at the bottom of the list. shame on you :wall:

talk to the :hand: ftony, talk to the :hand:

:mrt:

Submitted by jef costello on August 2, 2006

Steven.

Wouldn't the vehicles be shorthand for "workers"?

No, AFAIK I didn't go to the picket :oops:, what they want is to reduce the amount of vehicles and increase the amount of hours worked by the men. You can also put extra men onto a truck and then increase the speed they are supposed to work at. No one will get fired immediately, but I'd imagine in a year or so they'll probably try to cut the workforce and increase the hours again if they get away with this.

Submitted by ftony on August 2, 2006

all the cleaners and porters down at my local hospital were on strike today as well - went in to accident and emergency with a fucking big lump of crap in my eye almost unable to see, and then on the way out saw a picket of about 30 people on either side of the entrance and had a nice chat with them. Been out since Friday, full turn out, no-one crossing (well, no cleaners and porters who are members of Unison and employed by Rentokil crossing anyway), everyone on the picket for their shift from 6am to 6pm every day, back again tomorrow.

Trying to get close to a 20% pay raise (from c.£5 - c.£6/hour plus extra £54 london weighting - that might be wrong - I'm typing with one eye shut and leaflet they gave me looked a bit blurry when I read it) in line with every other London hospital. They don't think they'll get any of it but were pretty upbeat anyway.

hey, libcom, what hospital is that?

Submitted by libcom on August 2, 2006

Yeah Whipps Cross. The 56 from Angel/Dalston Central/Clapton Roundabout goes there as well plus a few other buses. Should be there until 6pm today afaik, not sure what their plan is after that - the woman mentioned Thursday about getting a decision so it might not be on tomorrow necessarily. Not at home, but there's a phone number on the leaflet for the Unison branch so could pm anyone who wants to check before they go down there. Today it's definitely happening.

Submitted by Steven. on August 2, 2006

jef costello

Steven.

Wouldn't the vehicles be shorthand for "workers"?

No, AFAIK I didn't go to the picket :oops:, what they want is to reduce the amount of vehicles and increase the amount of hours worked by the men. You can also put extra men onto a truck and then increase the speed they are supposed to work at. No one will get fired immediately, but I'd imagine in a year or so they'll probably try to cut the workforce and increase the hours again if they get away with this.

Yeah that was what I was thinking. Possibly they could just cut the workforce by non-replacement of those who leave.

Submitted by ftony on August 5, 2006

i went down there yesterday morning to say howdy.

there were a fair few of them and they were all pretty sound (although one had a copy of socialist wanker :wall:)

anyway, apparently it's going to be a good few weeks before anything happens, because their general manager is refusing to negotiate at all. apparently he was demoted from the central office because he was shit, and is now trying to prove himself worthy of being reinstated by standiing up to the unions. what a prick.

this is his email address: [email protected]

go for it spambots, go for it!!!

Submitted by libcom on August 5, 2006

Nice one ftony. We may well have news up and runnung here in the next few days so if you fancy writing something up for that that'd be great.

Any news from your end coffeemachine?

Submitted by coffeemachine on August 5, 2006

aye went down too to put my two penneth worth in. There was only one guy there who seemed to be packing up for the day, but the mood he felt was 'quite solid'.

Interesting set up.

Submitted by Lazy Riser on August 5, 2006

Hi

If this strike puts Haringey Accord out of business would that be a “good thing”? Or does anyone think that it can’t happen?

Love

LR

Submitted by jef costello on August 5, 2006

Lazy Riser

Hi

If this strike puts Haringey Accord out of business would that be a “good thing”? Or does anyone think that it can’t happen?

Love

LR

I find it unlikely that it will.
Haringey will continue to pay them and they won't be paying strikers so I think it might actually increase their profits. They'll probably charge the council extra to clear up what has built up. (It won't be in bins any more, so it'll be classed as fly tipping)

Submitted by Lazy Riser on August 5, 2006

Hi

Haringey will continue to pay them

You'd have thought the local tax payers would have something to say about that. I think that’s worth verifying, Jef.

I think it might actually increase their profits.

In which case, the strikers are doomed, unless all they wanted was some unpaid leave.

Love

LR

Submitted by Steven. on August 5, 2006

Yeah I would've thought the council would have clauses in the contracts making payment subject to the work actually being done. Very unlikely they'll be getting paid now.

Submitted by jef costello on August 5, 2006

Steven.

Yeah I would've thought the council would have clauses in the contracts making payment subject to the work actually being done. Very unlikely they'll be getting paid now.

I'm sure they do but these things tend not to be enforced particularly well.
I doubt they'd have stopped getting paid immeidately, unlike the strikers.

Submitted by Lazy Riser on August 5, 2006

Hi

I'm sure they do but these things tend not to be enforced particularly well.

Purchasing officers are working class too. Perhaps they might be “especially diligent” this month in solidarity with their blue collar comrades. This is the terrain of contemporary class conflict that we must master.

Love

LR

Submitted by ftony on August 6, 2006

jef costello

Lazy Riser

Hi

If this strike puts Haringey Accord out of business would that be a “good thing”? Or does anyone think that it can’t happen?

Love

LR

I find it unlikely that it will.
Haringey will continue to pay them and they won't be paying strikers so I think it might actually increase their profits. They'll probably charge the council extra to clear up what has built up. (It won't be in bins any more, so it'll be classed as fly tipping)

i sort of agree with jef here. but i think the economic strength of haringey accord is that they have their fingers in a lot of pies, so they have more stable income elsewhere.

Submitted by coffeemachine on August 13, 2006

Accord have drafted in temporary agency workers in an attempt to break the strike. This monday (14 August) will be the first time they'll going out on the roads, the Haringey binmen have asked for as many people as possible to go down this monday morning to support the strike and to try and persuade the agency workers not to take the dustcarts out.

Be good if people made the effort.

Picket outside the main gates - 8.30am
Ashley Road depot
Ashley Road
N17 9AZ
(nearest tube: Tottenham Hale)

If people can't make it in the morning there's a general assembly at 6pm the same evening to update, if people want to go down and get involved.

Background info:
http://www.tgwu.org.uk/Templates/News.asp?NodeID=92705&int1stParentNodeID=42438&int2ndParentNodeID=42438&Action=Display
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/5257136.stm
http://www.tottenhamjournal.co.uk/content/haringey/tottenhamjournal/news/story.aspx?brand=TWGJOnline&category=news&tBrand=northlondon24&tCategory=newstwgj&itemid=WeED10%20Aug%202006%2013%3A10%3A42%3A293
http://www.haringeyaccord.com/easyview.asp?recid=%20262

Submitted by Steven. on August 13, 2006

Hmmm I gotta get to work but I can get in a bit later than usual tomorrow so I might be able to make this.

Just to clarify Coffeemachine where and how did the workers request people to go? (Cos I've been to a picket before where some politicos said there was a callout but none of the workers seemed to know about it...)

Submitted by coffeemachine on August 13, 2006

came from steve fletcher, senior shop steward, when i met up with him on friday afternoon after he'd be negotiating with management all day. He's happy for anyone and everyone to come down. The others, to be fair, didn't seem that concerned (not convinced by empty promises perhaps) although they were happy enough to have people down on the picketline when i was there.

The picket actually starts at 6.30 if people are keen. I suggested 8.30 as a reasonable time for visiting support. Up to you when you go.

Submitted by jef costello on August 13, 2006

HSG have also forwarded about the picket on monday. It'll be good to have people there but it'll be key to have people there at 6 in case some kind of blockade can be organised against the scabs.

Haringey Council have distributed a leaflet saying that Accord have a contract and they have to, and wil, honour it.

Submitted by coffeemachine on August 14, 2006

this morning the binmen voted (28 to 16) to go back to work, accepting the management's amended offer of taking just one dustcart off the road & paying an extended 'clear up' payment.

Don't know the fine details, a victory of sorts i suppose.

Submitted by jef costello on August 14, 2006

I know you don't like copy and pastes but I thought you guys would like to see this:

Outcome of Haringey Refuse Collection Workers Strike Against Cuts
Report, 14th August 2006

On Monday 14th August, Haringey's domestic refuse collection workers voted 26-18 to return to work after 2 weeks solidly out on strike against cuts in the service, and over the related health and safety issues. The close decision came as a result of negotiations with management during a picket of the Ashley Rd Council depot (Tottenham Hale N17) in which the workers were backed by around 20 supporters.

The workers, all members of the Transport and General Workers Union, agreed to accept a substantial climbdown by Accord who had originally wanted to unilaterally cut 2 trucks from the domestic collection fleet. The workers had refused Accord's original offer of £1,450 each to 'compensate' for the cuts. Accord - after seeing the long and solid strike, the determination of the strikers, the effective daily picketing at the depot and the general public support for the workers - offered a 'compromise' deal in which one of the waste collection trucks would be cut instead - with the decision on whether it will be from the trade or domestic fleet still to be negotiated. On that basis the workers agreed to return to work immediately to start clearing the backlog of uncollected waste around Haringey. The workers will continue to monitor the situation through their own strike committee .

Many of the workers at the picket were very pleased about the public support they received * - they said they felt this had strengthened their hand. They wanted to pass on their thanks. Some clearly felt that, despite their loss of wages, they could have achieved more by staying out longer - especially as similar issues apply across the whole waste collection service. It should be noted that Accord have also made cuts recently to the street sweeping and cleansing fleet which the workers in that section have been unhappy about but had not so far felt able to take action over.

The Council has been pressurising Accord to make 'efficiency savings' each year, including 6% this year. They had supported Accord's proposed cuts, and had urged the staff to take the financial 'compensation' offered. What in fact is really needed is improvements to the borough's waste collection service. However, in considering 'savings', Accord apparently hadn't considered cutting its ever-growing number of management posts or its profits (£53m in 2005 according to the Haringey Advertiser).

Like with other public services, the pressure for cuts is likely to continue unless adequate resources are provided by central government - it is up to residents in general and public sector staff in particular, to demand the resources that Haringey residents need.

* On Friday 11th August about 25 people - residents and trades unionists - had taken part in a protest at the Civic Centre. The aim was to show opposition to the proposed cuts and support for the workforce, despite the short term inconvenience to the public. Many participants brought bags of uncollected rubbish from home and dumped them on the steps in front of the building. Placards had included: 'Improvements Not Cuts', 'Support the Refuse Workers - striking for health and safety', 'Accord Is Rubbish', 'Accord Shareholders Rake In The Profits - Health & Safety In The Bin'.

Report by Dave Morris, Secretary of the Haringey Federation of Residents Associations