Thurrock Council are already embroiled in an industrial dispute with frontline service operators such as refuse collectors and street cleaners. A ballot on strike action is currently underway among workers belonging to the Unite union and is due to conclude shortly: Thurrock bin workers – strike ballot well underway – March 9, 2021. The dispute is over pay cuts and the imposition of worse terms and conditions of employment. The situation has been exacerbated by managers mainly working from home during the duration of the Covid crisis while frontline workers were left to continue slogging it out on the streets.
Well, it seems as though one industrial dispute isn’t enough for Thurrock Council and they could well end up having two on their hands: Second union damns Thurrock Council plans to change terms and conditions of workers in the Covid front line. Other frontline workers including carers who undertake home visits to the sick and elderly are also facing pay cuts and worse terms and conditions of employment. The GMB union who represent these workers have vowed to resist Thurrock Council’s plans to impose these cuts.
Picking a fight with two unions is something Thurrock Council may well end up regretting. Suffice to say, as with the refuse collectors and street cleaners, we also extend our solidarity to those frontline workers represented by the GMB. We’ll be monitoring this situation and will post as and when developments occur.