GMB Members Strike Action At Sheffield Recycling Centres In Dispute Over Pay

6 Oct 2014


GMB members employed by the Green Company, running five recycling centres as a subcontractor to Veolia for Sheffield City Council, are taking a second day of strike action on Monday 6 October 2014 in a dispute over pay, facilities and how the contract is managed. The first day of strike action was on Wednesday 1st October.

The five recycling centres are located at Beighton Road, Woodhouse, S13 7PS, Blackstock Road, Gleadless, S14 1FY, Manchester Road, Deepcar, S36 2DT, Greaves Lane, High Green, S35 4GR, and Longley Avenue West, Shirecliffe, S5 8WA.

The Green Company is owned by the charity Salvaire. The dispute is failure to secure an agreement on premium pay for weekend and overtime working, on welfare facilities and about the behaviour of the senior managers on the contract. GMB secured a living wage for members in the recycling centres from the out-going senior management team effective from April 2014.

Peter Davies, GMB Regional Officer, said “GMB members are taking action over premium rates, welfare facilities and bullying. We know the company can afford to provide them but the company will not budge.

The charity Salvaire has four trustees including their chair Martine Laffan-Butler who is also on the company board again as a chair. After internal disputes the entire senior management team has gone leaving Martine Laffan-Butler to take over. GMB was not aware of the board room wrangling but due to the dismissals and suspensions, the game is up and all of the workforce are now aware of this.
According to accounts that Salvaire have submitted Martine Laffan-Butler has already had £47,000 in consultancy charges, £3,000 in expenses and a further £10,000 for being the chair of the company board. It appears that this is paid to another company, ‘Roughly Translated Ltd’ owned by Martine Laffan-Butler and her partner.

GMB believe that the chair and her supporters will exceed last year’s payment and take at least £90,000 this year. They do, as far as we can ascertain, nothing for that resource and in the meantime opening hours are reduced, sites are closed to save money and the good folk of Sheffield have to travel miles to find an open site and queue when they get there to access this service.
GMB members are striking for a fair share of these resources and to stop the whole scale abuse of Sheffield’s public purse and this vital service. That, a decent toilet in the winter, somewhere to have a wash and a bit of honesty isn’t a lot to ask for.” 

Contact Peter Davies GMB Organiser on 07501 228 313 or 01924 882255 or 0845 337 7777 or GMB press office 07921 289880