Caerphilly bin workers' strike threat over CCTV sackings

Bin lorry
Image caption Staff claim they were given permission to go home once their day's work had been completed

Refuse workers in Caerphilly are considering strike action claiming people have been unfairly sacked for finishing work early.

They claim supervisors had given them permission to go home when their work for the day was done.

Managers have been accused of spying on staff using CCTV cameras installed on vehicles as an anti-crime measure.

Caerphilly council confirmed staff were being investigated, and claimed its use of CCTV was in line with agreed policy.

The local authority confirmed seven workers had been sacked and another 20 were being investigated.

Image copyright Unison
Image caption Unison urged the council to stop the sackings

Dozens of refuse workers staged a protest outside Caerphilly council offices last week.

Officials from the trade union Unison claimed trust had broken down between the council and its 200 refuse workers.

Unison's regional organiser Jess Turner urged council bosses to "talk to us and stop the sackings".

"Thursday's protest showed staff are very angry and determined to protect their unfairly-dismissed colleagues. They are not willing to give up," she said.

"These hard-working men keep our streets free of rubbish in all weathers and they are the ones going above and beyond at Christmas sweeping snow away.

"If they continue to sack people for following the instructions of their supervisors or minor infractions, Unison and GMB will ballot for industrial action."

A spokesman for Caerphilly council said: "We can confirm that a number of staff within the council's waste management service are currently under investigation.

"Any disciplinary action taken by the council against an employee is only done if there are appropriate grounds to undertake such an investigation.

"In this instance, the council is following an agreed policy relating to the use of CCTV footage which has been endorsed by both Unison and GMB."

The spokesman said the investigation into time management issues was in its "latter stages" and was due to be completed in the next couple of months.

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