Senior officers at Thurrock Council seem utterly determined to carry on digging themselves into an ever deeper hole over their threats to attack the pay and working conditions of refuse collectors and other front line workers. This is what we’ve posted up so far on this sorry saga:
The council have been saying that it’s ‘activists’ stirring up their front line workers and that they have been negotiating with the union, Unite, as well as communicating directly with their workers. Given Thurrock Council’s reputation for spin and bullshit, it’s questionable how many people across the borough will actually believe this!
To counter the allegations from the council about ‘activists’ stirring things up, a union representative has organised a petition to be sent to all of the councillors outlining their concerns. Currently, the petition has 127 signatures. This is how it has been reported on Thurrock Nub News: Council key workers say their concern and fear about future prospects are real and they will go directly to councillors with petition for support, saying the authority’s management will not listen.
This is the text from the petition:
“We the undersigned refuse, highways, parks and street cleansing workers wish to register our opposition to proposed changes to our contracts and terms and conditions. Throughout this pandemic we have worked providing vital services to the people of Thurrock; something which was recognised by the public when they were clapping us in the street. We are not highly-paid individuals, we cannot and will not accept detrimental changes to our remuneration.”
The council bullshit about ‘activists’ stirring things up is a distraction from the fact that a badly managed local authority is intending to undertake an assault on the pay and conditions of their front line workers. The council are doing this because focusing on why they feel they have to cut pay and worsen conditions would put the spotlight on years of their incompetence and mismanagement. That’s the last thing the council want so instead, they go and smear their frontline workers and the union representatives who speak up for them in the hope they can distract people from what’s actually going on.
As an aside, it’s interesting to note that the frontline workers reckon that appealing directly to the councillors might yield a result. Interesting because it’s yet another indication that quite a few people reckon that senior officers at Thurrock Council are a law unto themselves and need to be reined in. Whether this will happen depends on whether councillors are willing to step up to the plate.
To conclude, we continue to offer our unconditional solidarity to the frontline workers at Thurrock Council involved in this dispute.