William Eichler 24 March 2020

Union questions how refuse workers can practice social distancing within an RCV cab

Union questions how refuse workers can practice social distancing within an RCV cab image

A union has called on local government employers to spell out how refuse service workers can safely provide an essential service while meeting social distancing requirements.

Frontline recycling and waste industry workers have been recognised by the Government as key workers, which means their services are considered essential.

However, the union GMB London has written to the Local Government Association (LGA) asking them to get clear guidelines from the Government for councils and contractors on how to implement the social distancing for staff in refuse services.

‘Despite the governments directive regarding social distancing and the lock down measures that came into effect yesterday evening, GMB have been advised that refuse crews are being instructed to carry on work as normal. This cannot be right,’ said GMB senior organiser, Keith Williams.

‘The effects of this is that employees are expected to go out in cabs that are inadequate for compliance with social distancing. Further, employees are not being provided with daily masks and anti-viral hand gel.’

‘GMB recognise the collection of refuse is essential in these times. In the light of this and to avoid any disruption of the service, GMB call on Local Government Association and local authorities to put immediate measures in place with their waste management service providers to protect the well-being and welfare of our members which recognise the immediate threat our members are facing,’ he continued.

‘Refuse is not a role that can be carried out at home. So refuse contractors and local authority clients have a responsibility to minimise risk during this unprecedented pandemic.

‘It is essential that they should be working collaboratively with GMB to look at options to ensure that refuse workers are not taken for granted. They need to be shown the same level of respect and regard as all other local government and critical workers at this moment in time.’

SIGN UP
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

School Crossing Patrol Officer Vacancies - South Essex

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Come and support your local school and community by joining Essex County Council's School Crossing Patrol Team in South Essex. As a School Crossing P England, Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Council

School Crossing Patrol Officer Vacancies - West Essex

Essex County Council
Negotiable
Come and support your local school and community by joining Essex County Council's School Crossing Patrol Team in West Essex. As a School Crossing Pa England, Essex, Waltham Abbey
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Personal Advisor (Leaving and After Care Service)

Essex County Council
£26801.0 - £30906.0 per annum + Plus Excellent Benefits
Knowledge, Skills and Experience * Have achieved NVQ level 3 * Experience of working in a supportive relationship, with young people * Experience in working creatively with in various ways young people including young parents * Previous work expe England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Premises Assistant

Essex County Council
Up to £18029.0 per annum
Please note that this is a part time position, 18 hours per week. Working hours will be discussed at interview but may include some Saturday work. The England, Essex, Basildon
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Director, Procurement

Essex County Council
Up to £111,100
We’re looking for proven experience of developing and implementing business planning and performance management frameworks in a... Chelmsford, Essex
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue