Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield recycling centre staff to strike over cuts

Staff at five household recycling centres in Sheffield are to strike for three days over planned job cuts.

GMB union members employed at the council-owned sites on Douglas Road, Blackstock, Neighton, High Green and Deepcar will walk out from Saturday.

The council has decided to close some of the facilities on week days to shave nearly £500,000 from its budget. The plan would lead to seven job losses.

The council said the move was in response to "massive" government cuts.

SOVA Recycling Limited is subcontracted to run the sites for the council and employs the workforce. It has not yet responded to requests for comment.

The GMB said staff were also facing pay cuts as a result of the council's proposal.

Peter Davies, GMB Organiser at Sheffield, said: "To close the sites through the week to the public who not only pay for them but actually own them and force the remaining workforce to work longer and more unsociable hours for little more than the minimum wage is a scandal."

He said more than 90% of members voted in favour of striking.

While the strike is on, SOVA has committed to keeping open two of the sites - Longley Avenue West and Blackstock Road - from 09:00 BST to 18:00 BST.

Sheffield City Council apologised for any inconvenience caused by the strikes and said it was working with the union, staff and SOVA to resolve the dispute.

Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for recycling, said: "I believe that SOVA has listened to the concerns of its employees.

"The basic problem is that Sheffield is facing massive government cuts.

"Of course, if there was an alternative to making this cut, we would take it. But the reality is that this is the consequence of such massive cuts."

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