Edinburgh waste and street cleaning workers to strike during festival

18th of August 2022
Edinburgh waste and street cleaning workers to strike during festival

Waste is expected to pile up during the Edinburgh Festival as bin workers go on strike in a dispute over pay.

Waste, recycling and street cleaning staff are planning to stage a mass walkout over a two per cent pay offer which the Unite and the GMB unions describe as "derisory".

A second wave of industrial action is being co-ordinated in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee with school and nursery walkouts planned next month.

The strike action in Edinburgh is intended to maximise disruption during the festival when hundreds of thousands of tourists will be visiting the city and the infrastructure will already be under pressure.

GMB Scotland organiser Kirsten Muat said: "Waste will pile up during the Edinburgh Festival unless a significantly improved pay offer for local government staff is tabled. When visitors from across the world ask why this is happening, the response will be straightforward: our members are not prepared for local services to be delivered on the backs of the working poor."

The Edinburgh strike is due to end on August 30, the day after the end of the International and Fringe festivals.

Unite general secretary Sharon Graham says: "We believe the public of Edinburgh and across Scotland will support our members in taking this stand because no worker should be forced to accept a ‘take it or leave it' real-terms pay cut."

Council leaders are due to discuss whether they can improve on the pay offer after holding talks with the Scottish Government. City of Edinburgh Council leader Cammy Day said the authority would be doing all it could to minimise any impact on essential services during the festival.


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