Petty minded hassling of striking environmental services workers

The environmental services workers strike in Thurrock is still going strong with no sign of any weakening of morale. By all accounts, the picket line has been lively and good natured. All of which must really grate with Thurrock Council.

On Monday April 26, Essex plod paid the picket line a visit: Striking workers warned by police about breaching Covid rules during picket – 26.04.21. This was in response to allegations that some aspects of the picket were breaking Covid regulations. The cops did what they were obliged to do, spending a couple of hours explaining the regulations and the appropriate safety measures that should be adopted before leaving.

Anyone who has seen the bin workers operating across the borough over the last year during lockdowns and tiered restrictions will not have failed to notice that in order to do their job efficiently, they have to work in close proximity to each other. Social distancing was and is pretty much impossible, particularly when they have to sit together in the cab. One of the many motivating factors for the strike was that the bin workers were expected to work like this while their managers often worked from the comfort of their own homes.

So, it’s okay for the workers to be in close proximity to each other while doing their jobs but absolutely not while they’re on a picket line. Does this make any sense to you? It makes no sense to us whatsoever unless you factor in the petty vindictiveness of whoever made the allegations about the pickets breaking Covid regulations. Who would be so vindictive as to phone in an allegation like this to the cops? Let’s just say, it wouldn’t come as any surprise if the person making those allegations was from Thurrock Council.

Suffice to say, if this was an attempt to try and undermine the morale of the striking workers, it has backfired. What it has done is show the absurdity of how the Covid regulations are selectively ignored or enforced as and when it suits the management at Thurrock Council.

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