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Armagh-based bin workers to stage two-week strike action from next week

The industrial action is a result of what Unite has branded a 'hostile environment' that has been created for unions at the council

Armagh-based bin workers will stage a fortnight’s strike from next Wednesday, July 17.

Unite has today (Tuesday) notified management at ABC Council of its intentions.

The strike action, which will be taken by environmental services workers based at the council’s waste depot in Armagh, is likely to severely impact bin collections in that part of the council.

The industrial action is a result of what Unite has branded a “hostile environment” that has been created for unions at the council. In recent weeks a Unite shop steward based at the depot has been dismissed, while five other Unite reps have faced investigations or disciplinary hearings or had their rights to represent workers restricted.

Unite the union general secretary Sharon Graham said: “An attack on one of our reps is an attack on the entire workforce. Unite will never stand by while our reps are targeted by an employer. The workers taking strike action can count on the complete support of Unite in their fight for respect, dignity and justice.”

Unite believes the aggressive and anti-union response of council management is a response to the successful industrial action in 2022 which saw the union secure a significant pay increase for workers after weeks of strike action.

More recently union reps based at Armagh depot have strongly opposed management plans to lower terms and conditions of employment during the ongoing ‘harmonisation’ process under the Review of Public Administration process (the process of harmonisation is overdue since 2015 when the new council was formed from an amalgamation).

Unite regional officer Brenda Stevenson said, “Rather than engage constructively with unions, council management appear intent on creating a hostile environment.

“Unite is calling on local councillors to intervene and instruct management to reverse course and avoid the unnecessary disruption to waste collection services in the Armagh area that will result from this strike action.”

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