Paul Marinko 24 March 2020

Union and council end dispute amid coronavirus crisis

Trade union Unite has said its dispute with Veolia over holiday pay for refuse staff working at Tower Hamlets LBC has been resolved.

The union said that in light of the coronavirus crisis the dispute with the waste contractor for the London borough had been resolved as a ‘priority’.

A settlement was accepted by 250 Unite members at the firm.

Unite regional officer, Ruth Hydon, said: ‘Given the current crisis and the vital role refuse workers carry out in maintaining public hygiene, Unite and Veolia made finding a solution to the industrial dispute a priority.

‘Our members have accepted a settlement reached during negotiations between Unite and Veolia and the dispute is now over.

'Veolia staff are now working overtime across Tower Hamlets to ensure that streets are clean and rubbish is collected.’

Unite voted on strike action last month after claiming Veolia had not settled a collective holiday pay claim despite reaching agreement with unions on a calculation in August 2018.

It said workers were owed up to £9,000 in holiday arrears from the company, but rather than ‘voluntarily paying’ all staff the money owed Veolia was making individual workers ‘use the legal system’ to claim it back.

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